Obituaries

Bobby Joe Hickingbotham

Photo of Bobby Joe Hickingbotham
Bobby Joe Hickingbotham, 88, a longtime resident of Jacksonville, Ark., and also lovingly known as "Coach Hick" by so many, passed away Thursday, September 28, 2023, in North Little Rock, Ark. Bob was born in McGehee, Arkansas on November 18, 1934, to the late Mamie Howard Hickingbotham and Rae Curtis Hickingbotham. He is preceded in death by five siblings, Ray C. Hickingbotham Jr., Gene Hickingbotham, Maxine Hickingbotham, Maurine Hickingbotham Mazzanti, and Elizabeth Ann Hickingbotham. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Gail Hickingbotham; his son and best friend, Barry Hickingbotham and his wife Lisa of Jacksonville; three grandchildren who called him Grandad, Haley Hickingbotham of Farmington, Brandon Hickingbotham and his wife Jackie of Greenwood, Molly Hickingbotham of Jacksonville; and one great-grandchild, Lona. He is also survived by his loving brother, Frank Hickingbotham and his wife, Georgia, of Little Rock; three nephews, Herren Hickingbotham of Little Rock, Todd Hickingbotham of Little Rock, Ray Hickingbotham of Dallas; two nieces, Candy Montgomery of Jacksonville, Bridget Montgomery of Jacksonville; and a host of great nieces and nephews. Coach Hick began a 68-year coaching career in McGehee, Ark., as a volunteer coach and fell in love with it. His love and passion for the game crossed over six decades and touched thousands of lives creating many coaches that learned the game of baseball from the best and continued sharing that passion with the next generation. His honors and recognition as a coach include: Girls State basketball Championship 1959 for England, Ark.: American Legion State Championships in 1984, 1988, 2020, 2021. His relationship with Gwatney Chevrolet as the head coach of the Gwatney Chevrolet American Legion Baseball Team (Chevy Boys) began in 1971 and lasted until just recently. The commitment to the program is one of the many reasons his name resides in Hall of Fames across the state: Jacksonville High School 2007 Hall of Fame, Arkansas High School Officials Association 2010 Hall of Fame, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame 2019 Meritorious Service Award, American Legion Outstanding Volunteer for 60 Years of Coaching 2019. Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Monday, October 2, 2023, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 10:00. Funeral Services will be live streamed on the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Facebook page. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to First Baptist Church of Jacksonville or the Jacksonville North Pulaski Athletic Department. The address for the athletic department is 1301 W Main St. Jacksonville, AR 72076. Services are under the trusted direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. Please visit Bob's online guestbook at www.anaturalfuneralstateservice.com

Published September 30, 2023