Lloyd Henry “Billo” Hickman, 87, passed away peacefully in the care of his loyal caretakers, friends and Seasons Hospice on Aug. 1, 2019, at his home in Ocean View, Del. He was born Aug. 9, 1931, in Williamsville, Md., (near Selbyville, Del.) to the late William Archie Hickman and Maggie Tyre Hickman.
He attended the Williamsville High School, which no longer exists. Hickman was accustomed to hard work from his youth. He helped raise livestock, especially chickens with his brothers. He also raised hogs, and the hard work of doing farm chores with long hours served him well in his work habits for later in life.
Hickman took on a position as a state game warden in an era when state pay was notoriously low. But he discovered politics. Starting as committeeman of the old 37th District, he led a movement to put Democrats in office, and he succeeded. Hickman went on to serve the Delaware Criminal Justice Commission for four years; Delaware Game & Fish Commission for nine years; Sussex County Planning & Zoning for nine years; Delaware Standardbred Owners Association; Delaware Parks & Recreation Advisory Council, and life member of Horse Lovers United Inc.
He married Dolly Mae Quillen in 1955 and moved to Ocean View. Together they bought and invested in real estate, and ran a fruit and vegetable stand. They rented out properties and established Hickman’s Liquors, which grew to be a well-known Sussex County institution, though Hickman himself remained a “teetotaler” and did not, himself, imbibe.
With every spare penny, they re-invested in real estate and began to accumulate some personal assets. Hickman got involved in a lot of business affairs and helped expand his friend, Dave Nickerson’s businesses. Nickerson has remained Hickman’s lifelong friend.
With Nickerson’s help, Hickman hosted the famous August Crab Parties, which became politically prominent, and “everybody who was anybody,” from dogcatcher to governor, attended the annual affairs held in Cedar Neck. The event grew to be bipartisan in an era when the political parties worked together and got along. There was no cover charge, with free food, drink and live music.
Billo and Dolly became very active in horse racing, supporting and owning their own horses. In the 1980s, they spent three months each year enjoying dog racing at Everglade City. They collected antique automobiles, antique tractors and old farm tools. Hickman’s home is adorned with Senate and House tributes, and photos of Joe Biden, Gov. Tribbitt, Judge Lee, Thurman Adams, Gov. Minner, Sen. Carper, Dr. Beebe and most of the political elite of Delaware who attended the August Crab Parties.
His beloved wife, Dolly, passed away in 2008. Though Hickman has outlived most of his family, he is survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members, including Susan Ailstock, Shirley Crage, Debbie Carman and her spouse, Ronnie, Robin McCabe and spouse, Gerald, and Glen Hickman.
In his senior years, after retiring from the liquor store, Hickman spent most of his time with his closest friends, Dave Nickerson and Lauren, Ruth Ann Minner, Inez Davis, Denise Murray, his horse trainer, Brenda Bramble, and Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin and his wife, Jill. He also kept up with his longtime friends, Ricky Pryer, the Dr. Thomas Mullens and the Gerald Hocker Sr. family. There are many other friends, too numerous to list.
A very special note of thanks and appreciation was given to his caretakers: Inez Davis, Merissa Mastrangelo and Inez Cephas, and the others who served in the past during Billo’s prolonged illness.
A viewing will be held at noon, with funeral service at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, at Melson Funeral Services in Ocean View, Del. The Elder Johnnie Jones will officiate, and former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and the Dr. Thomas Mullin will offer remembrances. Interment will follow, with an Ocean View Police escort, at Mariner’s Bethel UMC Cemetery in Ocean View. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to one of his favorite charities, Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center; 424 Savannah Rd.; Lewes, DE 19958. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.