Oscar Hicks, former Unity High School (Tolono) teacher, coach and principal passed away on December 24, 2020, at his daughter’s home in Tolono, Illinois.
He was the fifth and youngest son of Luther and Arminta Wright Hicks. He was born in Cumberland County in Illinois on February 16, 1927.
He married Marjorie Sims of Mattoon on December 31, 1945, in Allerton. She passed away July 2, 1988, in Tolono, Illinois. They had two daughters, Sandra (Joe) Revell, Carmel, IN, and Becky (Paul) Moore, Tolono, IL. Oscar had four grandchildren: Andrew Moore, Chicago, IL; Sarah (Kevin) Campbell, Knoxville, TN; Ryan (Betsy) Revell, Fishers, IN; Jana Revell, Fishers, IN; and two great grandchildren: Kate and Noelle Campbell, Knoxville, TN. He was also a foster parent for Cory and Brice Leach. Oscar was preceded in death by his four brothers: Earl Hicks, Monticello, IL, Harley Hicks, Hoopeston, IL, Everett Hicks, Monticello, IL, and Clark Hicks, Armory, MS.
Oscar graduated from Allerton High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University and his master’s degree from the University of Illinois. Oscar served in the Army during World War II. He spent 35 years as a teacher, coach and principal in Unit #7 School District, Tolono, IL. Six of those years he served as a teacher and coach at East Unity Junior High School, Sidney, IL, and was a coach, teacher and principal for 29 years at Unity High School, Tolono, IL. At Unity High School he was head football coach for 19 years, head basketball coach for 14 years, head track coach for 11 years, head baseball coach for 10 years, and cross-country coach for 8 years. In addition, he served as Athletic Director for 26 years. After retirement, he coached Unity Jr. High School girl’s basketball for 2 years.
Oscar served as President of the Okaw Valley Coaches for 18 years and a member of the Okaw Valley Boys Football and Basketball Coaches Association for 29 years. He was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Unity High School football field was dedicated as Hicks Field in his honor the same year.
Oscar lettered in basketball and baseball while attending Eastern Illinois University. In addition, he played baseball for the Eastern Illinois League for Royal, Sidney, Tolono and St. Joseph. He played fast pitch softball for several teams for twenty-five years. His love of sports continued long after he retired. While living in Arizona he continued to play softball and was often called upon to be the “designated runner” for his team mates. He enjoyed all sports as a coach, participant and spectator his entire life.
Oscar returned to central Illinois from Arizona two years ago and resided at Autumn Fields Assisted Living in Savoy, IL.
Graveside services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday January 2, 2021 at Bailey Memorial Cemetery, Tolono, IL with Rev. Mike Pennell officiating. Freese Funeral Home, Tolono is assisting with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to Oscar Hicks Scholarship in c/o Unity High School.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Oscar Hicks, please visit our floral store.