Margaret Maria Hicks (1916-2009)


Margaret Maria Hicks, Sebastopol, CA 1975

Margaret Hicks (a.k.a Aunt Margie) was my grandmother’s twin sister. They came from Germany with their mother and older sister Maryanne, landing in San Francisco before later heading south to the Los Angeles area where they lived out their lives. On July 21, Aunt Margie abandoned this mortal coil. My father, who was taking care of Margie’s financial needs (and all others as she took residence in an assisted living home), was charged with the execution of her final wishes, among them, ultimately, was the return of Margie’s ashes to the earth. It was her desire to have her ashes spread in the same locale where her sister Maryanne’s were some years ago. I’m not going to go into geographic and topographic detail here since there seems to be some question as to the legality of all of this, except to say that there’s a big mountain to the north of San Francisco, overlooking the bay to the southeast and the ocean to the west… and there, the sisters were reunited last weekend. My parents and I hopped a Southwest flight to Oakland, hired a car and hotel in San Francisco and met our cousins Will and Christie on the mountain.




(there are more pictures over at the Flickr link to the right!)

While it was a bittersweet mission we accepted, it was a good one. The tone was set for the adventure when, upon x-raying the supplied packaging from the Neptune Society for the second time, a rather jovial TSA agent at Bob Hope Airport (Burbank) said, “she waved at me.” To which my father replied, “it’s a good thing I’m not too broken up about this!” So, with Margie in tow, we ambled through airports, car rental agencies, Jack London square, hotel lobbies, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin. And now, the journey is complete. Prayers were said, stories told.

I lived in the same South Pasadena neighborhood with Margie for six years after film school and would run into her on occasion at the Bristol Farms. This was somewhat of a unique experience for me since my family is so small we could all fit on the head of a pin. It’s so small that we really shouldn’t travel together (but do) for fear of losing the entire blood line in one go. (Kind of like the reason the three guys who have the formula for Coca Cola never travel together). But there for a little while, I had a relative that I would run into on the street, not just at holiday parties, etc. I suppose the family felt bigger because of this. I also think I got a fair amount of my travel lust from Margie who had been everywhere with such great stories and pictures to share upon her many returns. She was a gourmet, enjoyed fine art and music and was a very cultured person. She will be missed.


4 Responses to “Margaret Maria Hicks (1916-2009)”

  1. Thank you Jesse. You’ve said it all. Love, MOM

  2. Yo Jess,
    I also wish to express my thanks to you for the wonderful obituary above and for all of the help you gave to us on the aforementioned trip north. You really hit the essence of Margie’s life, and I appreciate that you have done your part to see the family through this time.
    Love, Pops

  3. Judy Moyer Says:

    just read your wonderful remembrance of your Aunt Margie
    it brought a tear to my eye and a bit of a chuckle as well, which is as it should be. Kudos to your wonderful parents who took such good care of her. Just wanted to let you know that as a shirttail relative (newly found) you can add us (Mark,my son, and Christina and Andrew (grandchildren) to the list of people you might run into in the Valley.
    Much love,

  4. Excellent summation of Aunt Margie’s final journey. Some enduring memories: Margie’s habit of loosening her belt after demolishing enormous portions of holiday meals. I loved her home just off 108th Street in Inglewood, lots of flowers and always great food. Uncle Charlie was “a gas” as he would say. Driving to Margie and Charlie’s early one New Year’s Day to watch the Rose Parade in color! Just getting there was an ordeal in the 1950s. Dad would drive to the end of Los Feliz, make the hard left turn (is that “dead man’s curve”?) and start up Western Ave. It seemed like there were hundreds of signal controlled intersections; 17th Street, then 17th Place, then 18th Street… The first use of the Harbor Freeway was amazing. “There’s Santa Barbara Ave. (now MLK). There’s Manchester!” In what seemed like 1/10th the time we exited at Century Blvd. Uncle Charlie took Howard and I to the fence surrounding LAX to watch 707s land. A down-draft at the last minute and we would have been history!

    It is history now. Margie’s old neighborhood has changed dramatically. Today you can’t get anywhere near “the fence” at LAX. If I never see the Harbor Freeway again it will be too soon. All, it seems, is gone with the wind. But, we’ll never forget the three pre-teen German girls who were thrust into class in San Francisco in 1925 without knowing a word of English. They survived by hard work, reading book after book borrowed from the public library. All three ladies worked hard and led good lives. Model citizens and loving family members all, they will remain the gold standard for the Pomeroy family.

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