Ena Marie Hicks 86, of Hilliard, OH, died peacefully on May 25, 2021, at Dublin Methodist Hospital (Ohio) after a brief illness. She was born in Britton, SD on February 28, 1935, the oldest daughter to Merl and Amy (Hull) Grupe. She grew up on a farm west of Britton and attended rural schools, then Britton High School where she was active in the vocal groups and was yearbook editor. Ena was also in Girl Scouts and belonged to Jobs’ Daughters. She graduated from Britton High School in 1953 and then attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN earning an associate degree in elementary education. She then attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD earning a teaching certificate. On August 20,1955, she married Irl Roger Hicks and lived in Brookings, SD where she taught fourth grade while Irl finished his engineering degree. Ena and Irl were transferred several times for his job, living in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City and finally in Norton, Ohio where they lived from 1963 to 1985.
Ena’s first love was caring for her four children. She was band parents’ president and followed the activities of swim team, basketball, tennis and band. Ena described herself as a “professional volunteer,” volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Bloodmobile, Children’s Concert Society and church activities. Ena liked sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery, cooking and especially tending her yard and flower gardens. She was skilled at crossword puzzles and was an avid reader.
Near the end of Irl’s professional career, Ena and Irl were transferred to work in Bejing, China for six years. Ena took full advantage of learning the culture and traveling throughout that part of the world. They retired to Britton in 1991 where they lived and operated several small businesses where Ena did all the bookkeeping. In addition, she spent much time caring for each of their mothers until they reached the age over 100 and a great aunt. Activities at the First Lutheran Church gave her time with many dear friends from the community. She and Irl spent many winters on Siesta Key, FL and traveled to spend time with their children and their dearly loved grandchildren. In 2019, Ena moved to Hilliard, Ohio to be near her daughter Kathy.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Irl and her sister Marla Rae Sasse. She is survived by her children Kimberly (Robert) Gregg, I. Roger (Julie) Hicks, Kristine (Pat Collette) Hicks and Kathleen Villacres; six grandchildren: Jason Gregg, Matthew (Rachel) Gregg, Peri Hicks, Dana Hicks, Amanda Villacres, and Alyssa Villacres. She is also survived by her brother Alan (Sandy) Grupe and sister Carrie “Dolly” (Richard) Evans, as well as nieces, Traci Erikson, Trudi Bain and Toni Sasse, and nephews Jeff Grupe, Craig (Angela) Grupe, and Mike (Gayle) Hastings. She will be dearly missed by family and many friends.
A Celebration of Life will be planned later this summer in Britton, SD. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Kim Gregg, 5117 Woodlawn Blvd, Minneapolis, MN, 55417. In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials in Ena’s name are suggested to the First Lutheran Church, PO Box 50, Britton SD 57430 or the Marshall County Prayer Rock Museum, Britton, SD 57430.
A Celebration of Life will be planned later this summer in Britton, SD.
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