Nickola Hicks was born August 20, 1924, in Elk River, Idaho, to Adeline (Allee) and Nick Markovich. His father passed away when Nick was 13; he was later adopted by Ed Hicks. Nick was the second son of four boys and spent his childhood in Mullan, Idaho, graduating from MHS in 1942. The family moved briefly to Deer Park, Wash., to do some logging and farming. The family returned to work in the silver mines of northern Idaho.
Nick’s first job, while still in high school, was setting pins at the local bowling alley. He would work on his homework while laying down and reset the pins after each throw. Nick gained construction experience during the building of Farragut Naval base and worked in the mines alongside his brothers and “Pop” until WWII. He and his brother enlisted in the Army, trained, and served together in Patton’s Third Army in Europe. Nick was a gunner on a 155mm self-propelled long tom artillery piece. He saw a lot of action during the war; his brother was injured and both were glad to come home.
He met his wife, Alla, on a double date with his brother. The brothers married sisters; Nick and Alla enjoyed 64 years together before her passing in 2010.
Nick considered his career options when returning from the war and talked his way into an apprentice job at Western Seat Cover in Portland, Ore. Alla also was employed there as a bookkeeper. These skills proved valuable when they chose to move to Pendleton to open their own shop, Pendleton Auto Upholstery, in 1949. Nick soon was able to build his own shop building and changed the name to A-1 Upholstery. The couple retired from the business after 35 years.
During his career Nick continued to build, adding commercial buildings and acquiring residential properties as well. During this time Nick served on the board of directors for First Federal Savings and Loan, which later became Western Heritage Savings and Loan.
Nick, together with his wife and friends, the Bagwells, were the founding members of the First Church of God. They began as a small group meeting in homes until, through God’s blessings and their own labors, they were able to build a church building at its present site. When added space was needed it was accomplished again through the God-given skills and physical labor of the many members at that time. Nick served on the many church boards/councils and was an active member of the local chapter of Gideons International.
Nick was an adventurous man and loved sharing that spirit with his family. Twins, Kent and Brent, joined the couple in 1948 while living in Vancouver, Wash. Beckie joined the family five years later in Pendleton. Traveling to visit family, hunting, camping, water-skiing; all were family affairs. He followed the same pattern with his grandkids along with his church family and neighbors.
Nick is survived by sons Kent of Vancouver, Wash., and Brent of Mission Viejo, Calif., and daughter Beckie (Tim) of Tigard, Ore. Grandchildren include Jordan, Bryson, CJ and Rachel, and great-granddaughter Lucy. He also leaves many cherished nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank his many friends that helped sustain him as his health declined in the most recent years.
Memorial Services will be held at the First Church of God at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Graveside services will be held at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver, Wash., on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Church of God or to the Pendleton Camp of Gideon’s International.
Pendleton Pioneer Chapel is handling the arrangements; condolences can be made online at www.pioneerchapel.com