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Columbia Missourian

Godfrey 'Kirk' L. Hickam liked building homes, hunting mushrooms

By Allison Prang
November 24, 2012 | 6:58 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Godfrey L. “Kirk” Hickam built the house that he and his wife lived in for 40 years. It was the house where they would raise their two children.

It was the house where his wife, Joy Hickam, would take the mushrooms Hickam would hunt every year, wash them, flour them, cover them in salt and pepper and fry them in oil to eat.


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Mr. Hickam died Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. He was 83.

He was born Dec. 4, 1928, in Columbia to Godfrey and Ruth (Valentine) Hickam.

“A lot of builders move on to the next house, and we just didn’t do it,” Joy Hickam said of the couple’s former four-story home.

“He could build a house from top to bottom,” she said. “He knew how to do all of it.”

He spent 39 years as a homebuilder and land developer.

Joy Hickam said she and her husband met when they were children because their families knew each other. The two married after high school and had been married for 63 years.

She said her husband loved the outdoors, camping and fishing, as well as playing pool. He also  enjoyed rebuilding lawnmowers and liked country music.

“He could remember jokes, and he could tell them really well,” she said. “He liked to do that.”

Mr. Hickam's nickname, "Kirk," stemmed from his middle name, which is Lycurgus, his wife said.

Mr. Hickam was the second oldest of eight children, Joy Hickam said.

"I watched him for years, and I learned from him, and it’s made me a stronger person and able to fix a lot of things and do a lot of things that other women aren’t able to do,” his daughter, Janice DeRosier, said.

DeRosier said her father taught her daughter, Sarah DeRosier, how to ride a bike, which "meant a lot to her."

“We’re all going to miss him a lot,” DeRosier said.

He is survived by his wife, Joy Hickam; a son, William "Bill" Hickam and his wife, Beth, of Centennial, Colo.; a daughter, Janice DeRosier of Columbia; three granddaughters, Joanna Hickam, Ivy Hickam and Sarah DeRosier; a brother, John Hickam; and three sisters, Marie, Barbara and Linda. 

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial Funeral Home at 1217 Business Loop 70 W. The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday also at the funeral home.

Donations in Hickam’s memory can be made to the Columbia Area Senior Center, 1121 Business Loop 70 E.,  Columbia, MO 65201, or the Alzheimer’s Association, 2400 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.

Tributes can be posted at

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.