Resident of Bellingham
memorial service for Charlotte Lucille Baldwin Hicks will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at First Baptist Church of Ferndale, Wash. Charlotte, a longtime resident of Ferndale, died at Highgate Senior Living, her residence in Bellingham, Wash., on Oct. 17, 2013. She was 93.
Charlotte was born Feb. 20, 1920, in Holtville, Calif., near the Mexican border, to Charles Baldwin and Mattie Seaman Baldwin. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest of four sisters in a bright and lively family. She graduated from high school in Richmond, Calif., and attended San Francisco State University as an education and music student. On Oct. 11, 1941, she married Irby Hicks, her first and always love. One of her favorite stories was about the way they almost crossed paths on the day the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. She was a high school girl, among the throng walking across the bridge. He was a young merchant seaman, steaming into port under the bridge at the same time. Soon enough they did meet, and they remained devoted partners in life for almost 70 years, until he died on July 9, 2011.
To her family and friends, Charlotte was known as funny, curious, practical, patient, loving, and a fount of intuitive wisdom. She delighted in flowers and songbirds, and at various times stayed active by bowling, sewing, crocheting, and doing watercolor paintings and crossword puzzles: she completed a still-life painting of a vase with flowers two days before she died. She taught Sunday School classes, led Camp Fire Girls and Bluebirds clubs, and was an officer in TOPS. In her later years she enjoyed Red Hat Society meetings. Charlotte loved art and music, and was a natural teacher. One of her great joys was singing, at home or in her church choir. As a young woman, she sang Loch Lomond on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour national radio program.
But her first calling was as a mother, and she fulfilled the role wondrously well, always taking time to ask and listen. She taught her children such important skills as rolling out pie dough and stepping away from a fight, and instilled in them a love of learning: she gently but firmly insisted that if they stuck to it, they could do anything they put their minds to doing. Small things mattered very much. Her son John fondly remembers sitting up on the counter in the kitchen in the old house on Sundays, watching Mom make dinner and telling her about what Id learned in Sunday School and singing together as a family to the Sing Along with Mitch records.
Like many young mothers in the 1940s, Charlotte raised her first daughter, Melinda, largely on her own after the American entry into World War II. At the end of the war, Irby returned home from serving in the Merchant Marines, and the reunited couple moved north from California to Washington state, first to a farm near Salkum with Charlottes sisters and their families, and later to Richmond Beach and Puyallup. They moved to Ferndale in 1952, with three kids by then, and later welcomed four more children to the family. Charlotte became a homemaker, and also worked for many years as a teachers aide in special education classes in Ferndale public schools. She served a term as president of the Local Public School Employees Association. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Ferndale.
In her final years, one of Charlottes great pleasures was to look at pictures of animal babies and their mothers on her daughter Laurels iPad. She took constant joy in the idea of family. She had seven children and lived to be 93, anyway, Laurel says. Then, a few hours after raising her arms toward Heaven in the hospital, she flew away. In her last few years she used to tell me over and over, Dont grow old. Now, shes young again.
Charlotte is survived by her seven children: daughters Melinda Lee, of Seattle; Laurel Hicks, of Ferndale; and Barbara Hicks, of Ferndale; and sons Bob Hicks, of Portland, Ore.; Charles Hicks, of Elk Grove, Calif.; Bill Hicks, of Burlington; and John Hicks, of Seattle. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great grandchildren; and 19 nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband; by her older sisters, Eileen McKinley, Mary Kiehn and Martha Johnston, and by two half-brothers and a half-sister.
Farewell Tribute Information
A service to celebrate the life and home-going of Charlotte Lucille Baldwin Hicks will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at First Baptist Church of Ferndale. Donations Information
The family suggests contributions to the Salvation Army, the First Baptist Church of Ferndale, or the charity of your choice.