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Ted Hicks Passes Away at the Age of 59, A Fine Storyteller Himself, Friends Say Ted Never Met a Stranger

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This is Ted Hicks enjoying an day with family and friends, music and stories, at the homestead on Old Mountain Road in August 2012. It was truly a pleasure to know Ted. Photo by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 17, 2014. He never met a stranger.

That’s how those who knew him would describe Ted Hicks, 59, who passed away at the Life Care Center in Banner Elk at about 6 a.m. on Friday morning.

Ted Hicks had been on dialysis three times a week for the past few years and resided at the center, though he lived nearly all of his life off of Old Mountain Road, located on what is called the backside of Beech Mountain. 

The son of the esteemed Appalachian storyteller Ray Hicks, Ted was a fine storyteller in his own right, carrying on the tradition of the Jack Tales, and he had that old-time dialect just like his daddy.

“He was a lot like his father Ray,” said Doyle Pace, a friend of the family who knew Ted since he was about eight or nine years old.

“He was a very warm and caring person, always very friendly with everyone,” Pace continued. “I am very saddened by this.” 

According to his obituary, Ted is survived by his mother, Rosa Harmon Hicks of Banner Elk; one brother, Leonard Hicks and wife Linda Kay of Piney Flats, Tenn.; three sisters, Dorothy Jean Odom and Kathy Tribble and husband Kenneth, all of Elizabethton, Tenn., and Juanita Simerly and husband Jerry of Hampton, Tenn.; an aunt, Nell Presnell of Banner Elk; three nephews, Troy Simerly and Shane Simerly of Hampton, and Daniel Hicks of Piney Flats, and one niece, Ashley Robinson and husband Scott of Piney Flats. He is also survived by a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father Ray Hicks. 

Funeral services for Ted will be held on Monday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. The body will lie in state at the chapel from 1 to 2 p.m., when the family will receive friends. Officiating will be Reverend Richard Trivette. Burial will follow in the Hicks Family Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hicks family, in care of Leonard Hicks, 218 Old Mountain Road, Banner Elk, North Carolina, 28604.