Jack Hickey

January 21, 1939 ~ November 27, 2013 (age 74)
. John Michael "Jack" Hickey, age 74, of Willmar, died Wednesday, November 27, at Bethesda Heritage Center Nursing Home in Willmar.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m with a prayer service for family and friends beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Church of St. Mary. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Rice Hospice, American Cancer Society, Church of St. Mary, or the donor's choice are preferred. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.

John Michael "Jack" Hickey was born on January 21, 1939, in Willmar, Minnesota in the historical Sperry House to Arthur and Clara (Isdahl) Hickey. He grew up on the east side of Willmar. He attended Lincoln Elementary School and graduated from Willmar High School in 1957. In high school, he wrestled, played baseball, and was a key player on the varsity football team. Jack was selected "All Conference" in football.

He attended Notre Dame University and later St. John's University. Jack was the "Johnnie's" starting center and tri-captain on Coach John Gagliardi's first national championship football team, in 1963. After that, he signed a free agent contract and had a tryout with the Los Angeles Rams football team. Later, he returned to Willmar, where he completed his higher education.

In 1965, Jack began a lifetime career as a private contractor in long-haul trucking, retiring in 2000. In addition, in 1974, Jack and business partner, Lyle Banta, purchased Willmar's downtown Lakeland Hotel where they operated the hotel, restaurant, and Buccaneer Lounge. Jack also worked as a private investigator for the Schmidt-Thompson-Thompson Law Firm. In 1986, Jack was a candidate for Kandiyohi County Sheriff.

During his life, Jack was a member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Pheasants Forever, and Ducks Unlimited. Jack was a longtime master of ceremonies for various area banquets. He also belonged to community organizations including the Downtown Merchants Association, Municipal Utilities Commission, Willmar Chamber of Commerce, Willmar Fire Department, Elks, and Eagles. He served as a president for the Downtown Merchants and was a co-campaign director for the United Way. Jack was a parishioner of the Church of St. Mary's, and belonged to the Knights of Columbus.

Jack's hobbies included hunting (especially in Canada), golfing, playing softball, bowling, and riding his Harley Davidson.

Everyone's favorite and fondest memories of Jack will be laced with some kind of humor. And at the end, Jack wouldn't want things to be any different. In honoring advice from the "Hernias Are Us" organization, Jack has no active casket bearersa"he did not want any of his friends to suffer a hernia on his behalf.

Jack is survived by his sister, Mary J. Hickey Adkins of St. Paul; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives, and a large host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Margaret at age 10, and brother-in-law Roger Adkins.

Jack and his family wish to thank everyone who offered their prayers, paid visits, cared for daily needs, brought meals, sent flowers or cards of concern. Most of all they thank you for your friendship and attendance at this service and farewell party.

Cemetery Details

St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
1459 15th St. SW
Willmar, MN,

Graveside Service

DEC 6. 05:30 PM

Church of St. Mary

713 12th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


DEC 6. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Church of St. Mary

713 12th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


DEC 7. 10:00 AM

Church of St. Mary

713 12th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

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