The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Gene R. Hickey


January 10, 2018

MERCER, Wis. - Gene R. Hickey, 86, of Mercer, died unexpectedly Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 3, 2018, in his home.

He was born Dec. 14, 1931, in Milwaukee, son of the late Milton and Ruth (Fitzpatrick) Hickey, and graduated from West Milwaukee High School. He attended Milwaukee Teachers College prior to being drafted into the U.S. Army and serving in the Korean War as a sergeant in the Second Division.

Following his honorable discharge on July 16, 1954, Gene returned to Milwaukee Teachers College, where he received a teaching degree, then taught and coached swimming in the Milwaukee Public School System for 34 years, retiring in 1989 and moving to Mercer in 1992. While attending Milwaukee Teachers College, Gene was a member of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.

A very active and civic-minded individual, Gene was involved in Boy Scouts for 35 years, was a member of and held various offices in Hurley Masonic Lodge, F&AM, No. 237, the Mercer Historical Society, Mercer Senior Center, Mercer Lions, Northwoods Wildlife Club, a Friend of the Mercer Library, a member of MECCA and Mercer-Manitowish Waters American Legion Post 424. He was also a noted environmentalist, an avid hunter and fisherman, scuba diver, professional photographer, world traveler and geneologist.

A rabid sports enthusiast, he was a huge Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packers fan. He especially loved living in the Northwoods and the log home he built on Rice Lake.

On Aug. 20, 1983, he was united in marriage to Bonnie Banaszak in Lac du Flambeau, Wis. She survives.

Also surviving are two sons, David, of Greendale, and Steven, Campbellsport; two daughters, Barbara (Kent) Bavery, Waukesha, and Janet Dunster, Ponca City, Okla .; 13 grandchildren, Maria, Nathan, Rachel, Brian, Lisa, Angie, Amy, Justin, Ashley, Ben, Tyler, Wade and Carly; six great-grandchildren; and sisters-and-brothers-in-law, Camille (Thomas) Ciszewski and Karen (Wayne) Kniprath.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held Monday, Jan. 15, beginning at 11 a.m., at the Mercer Community Center. Hurley Lodge, F&AM No. 237 will conduct a memorial service at 11:15, with a time for sharing to follow. Full military honors will then be accorded by the Mercer-Manitowish Waters American Legion Post 424 Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to either the Mercer Senior Center, P.O. Box 438, Mercer, WI 54547, or the American Heart Association, 2850 Dairy Drive, Suite 300, Madison, WI 53178.

Arrangements were entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood, Mich. Condolences may be expressed online at


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