Robert Lawrence Hickey, age 81+, passed away on July 11, 2023, at the Saint John Regional Hospital. His loving wife, Ila Hickey, was by his side during his final moments. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Lorena Hickey, as well as his sister, Laura Ann Reid, and brother, Malcolm J. Hickey. He is survived by his wife, Ila; daughter, Louise Hickey, and her partner, Wanda Murphy, of Langley, BC; step-daughter, Nancy Green, and her husband Asaph Lantz; and granddaughters, Meredith and Gwendolyn Lantz of Chester, NS. Bob is also survived by his sister, Patricia E. Dickeson of Fredericton, NB, several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. He leaves behind cousins Ellen King (Steve Gardella) and Robert Carr (Louise), as well as his brother-in-law, James Reid of Fredericton.
Born and raised in Boiestown (Porter Cove), NB, Bob graduated from Upper Miramichi Regional High School in 1959, the same year he entered the Canadian Air Force. After 25 years of service, he retired in 1984 as a Captain, having served as an Air Traffic Controller. Throughout his career, Bob’s passion for aviation and being an Air Traffic Controller took him to various locations in Canada and even to Germany. He was proud to have been the youngest Air Traffic Controller in the Military across Canada at one point. Besides his career, Bob also held a Private Pilots License and served as the pilot for the UNB Paratroopers. After retirement, he returned to his hometown and built a house on the banks of the Miramichi River, where he enjoyed fishing and working as a licensed fishing guide.
Bob lived life to the fullest until his recent hospitalization. His energy and enthusiasm were unmatched, and he remained active in all aspects of his life. Bob was known for excelling at everything he pursued, earning him the admiration and respect of those around him. His achievements in both his personal and professional life were remarkable.
The family would like to thank Father Doug McNeill, Father Aaron Knox, and Msgr. Brian Henneberry for their visitation and prayers during Bob’s hospitalization. Arrangements for his funeral have been entrusted to the loving care of York Funeral Home’s Miramichi Valley Chapel. A Celebration of Life and the spreading of Bob’s ashes will take place at a later date. Personal condolences can be offered through the York Funeral Home website.
In closing, the obituary shares a poignant poem entitled “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee Jr. It beautifully captures the freedom and joy Bob found in aviation and symbolizes his journey beyond earthly bounds, as he now rests in the high untrespassed sanctity of space, touching the face of God.