BRUNSWICK — Joseph “Joe” Hickey, 92, died Aug. 21 in Brunswick. He was born in Binghamton, N.Y., to Cornelius E. Hickey and Jennie Murphy Hickey.
Hickey’s early years were spent on his family’s dairy and truck garden farm near Barton, N.Y. His education began in a one-room schoolhouse. Inspired by his older brother, Bob, he worked hard to excel in school. After graduating from Elmira (N.Y.) South Side High School, he attended Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Agriculture in 1943. It was during his time at Cornell that he met his wife, Ethel. They were married on Sept. 9, 1944, in Ithaca.
Hickey served as a first lieutenant in Europe during World War II. After the war, the couple moved to Maine where Hickey accepted a job at the University of Maine as a vegetable crop specialist. Later, he completed a master’s degree at Rutgers University and continued his work at the University of Maine. He then accepted a position at Burnham and Morrill Company in Portland, where he worked as a purchasing agent and agronomist for 37 years.
Hickey excelled in his field and achieved great professional satisfaction from his work. He distinguished himself by developing a specialized variety of bean, the Aurora bean, in conjunction with the Cornell School of Agriculture. During his career, he was admired for his fairness, integrity and professionalism.
The couple built a home in Falmouth and lived there for 55 years before moving to Brunswick. They raised their children in Falmouth, had many wonderful friends and enjoyed get-togethers with their neighbors at Mussel Cove.
Hickey was a lifelong Catholic and attended Holy Martyrs Church with his family. He also served as a member and chairman of the Falmouth School Board and was active in local and state political committees.
Hickey is survived by his wife of 68 years, Ethel; his son, Alan J. Hickey, and his wife, Margery Salter, of Yarmouth; his daughter, Joan Hale, and her husband, William, of Brunswick; grandchildren Bryce Hickey of Colorado Springs, Colo., Lynn Whiting of Standish, Rebecca Hale of Washington, D.C., Christopher Hale of Medellin, Columbia, Charles Hale of Oakland, Calif.; and great-grandchildren Finley, Micah, Digby, Liam, Elijah, Hannah and Julia.
A mass of Christian burial was celebrated at Holy Martyrs Church in Falmouth on Aug. 30.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Joseph C. Hickey to CHANS Home Health Hospice, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011.
Joseph “Joe” Hickey