Gilliam Swink Hicks Jr., M.D.
Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017
JACKSON — Services for Gilliam Swink “Doc” Hicks Jr., M.D., of Madison, who died Monday, March 13, 2017, following an illness, will be 2 p.m. today at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson.
Visitation will be from noon until service time today at the church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sebrell Funeral Home in Ridgeland.
Doc was born in Natchez, the son of Gilliam Swink Hicks Sr. and Cornelia Williams Hicks.
He attended Natchez public schools, was a cum laude graduate of Millsaps College and a graduate of the University of Mississippi Medical School.
Doc served at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Jackson from 1978 to 1993, offering his medical and leadership skills as director of the diabetic clinic, director of the medical consult service and chief of the section of general internal medicine.
Doc became a full-time faculty member with the department of medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1994, and spent the latter years of his career teaching, encouraging and inspiring the next generation of physicians. An outstanding instructor, Doc was named Clinical Faculty Member of the Year in 2000, voted Teacher of the Year by the internal medicine residents in 2001 and voted an All-star Teacher by the internal medicine residents in 2007. More than a teacher, Doc served as a friend and mentor. Many of his former students continued to seek his wise counsel long after they graduated from medical school.
In addition to teaching, Doc served as medical director of the Department of Medicine Ambulatory Clinic and an attending physician in the Ambulatory Care Clinic at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Doc retired in 2015 and was bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus.
Doc and his wife of 32 years, Susan Upton Hicks, shared a life of love, laughter and adventure. Doc and Susan traveled to Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain and Turkey, as well as throughout the United States. The Hicks’ home in Madison reflected their love of art and culture, but was more notable for the warmth found within its doors.
Together, Doc and Susan built a circle of close friends who looked forward to lively gatherings and the Hicks’ home featuring delicious meals and Doc’s signature margaritas or mint juleps. Doc and Susan introduced their friends to one another, building a close-knit community of people who otherwise might never have met.
Doc was a passionate supporter of conservation efforts. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, and met his wife through a Sierra Club connection. (Doc’s family feels sure he would like to remind readers that global warming is happening and is not an alternative fact.) When he was not traveling with Susan, Doc enjoyed semi-annual hiking trips to the Smoky Mountains, Glacier National Park, points along the Appalachian Trail and the wilderness areas of California. Doc returned from these adventures with a renewed commitment to protecting the wilderness he found so soothing and inspiring.
The Clarion Ledger will not be the same without Doc’s insightful letters to the editor. His wry sense of humor and his jokes and commentaries on everything from politics to Ole Miss football to the latest book he enjoyed will be sorely missed.
Doc was preceded in death by his parents and one nephew, Bill Cossar Jr.
He was also preceded in death by his cherished pets, Greta, Dylan, Charlie, Aunt Bea and Sophie.
Survivors include his wife and soulmate, Susan Upton Hicks; two sisters, Jean Priester and husband, Bill, and Anne Marie Cossar; one sister-in-law, Lara Spell and husband, Melvin; one brother-in-law, Mike Upton and wife, Denise; mother-in-law, Frances Paley; two nieces, Connie Cossar and Shan Fite and husband, Matt; three nephews, Harper Cossar and wife, Heather, Brad Priester and wife, Joanna, and Zach Spell; and great-nieces and great-nephews.
He is also survived by his beloved dog, Honey.
Memorials may be made to CARA Animal Shelter, 930 N. Flag Chapel Road, Jackson, MS 39209.
The family extends a special thanks to the University of Mississippi Medical Center staff for providing care that was not only professional, but was also loving and personal.