John Hicks Memorial Bridge

Officials with the City of Graysville were joined by State Rep.Ron Travis, State Sen. Ken Yager and family members of the late John Hicks on Friday to honor the former Graysville commissioner and carpenter by naming a bridge after him in the city.

Hicks passed away in July 2019 and was honored in a proclamation by the city in January. The proclamation named Jan. 15, 2020 as “John F. Hicks Day” in the City of Graysville.

Hicks was born Jan. 15, 1922, in Savannah, Ga., and raised in Houston, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps 607th Material Squadron, 383rd Air Service Group, on Oct. 8, 1942, at Fort McPherson, Ga. His specialty was automotive equipment operator where he served in the Pacific from Dec. 19, 1944, to March 28, 1946. He was assigned to a unit in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations and was awarded several medals for his service.

When he returned stateside on May 3, 1946, he moved to Graysville, where he met Bonnie Gordon Hicks, then married on Oct. 5, 1946. He tried his hand at farming before giving carpentry a try. He was very successful, building many homes in Rhea County and the surrounding area. He built 75 homes, a church and a school, in Graysville alone. He served as a commissioner for the City of Graysville in the 1960s.

“He was a Christian who loved the Lord with all his heart, often teaching and even preaching at his church,” the city proclamation states. “He was a devoted husband and a loving father to his three daughters and son and a wonderful grandfather to his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”