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Eugene W. Hicks, 67, longtime phone company worker named Black Achiever in Industry

July 11, 1951 — July 24, 2018

Eugene William Hicks, a 38-year employee of AT&T, which became Verizon Communications, who became a tax preparer and auditor after retirement, died after a short illness on July 24. He was 67.

Mr. Hicks, of Getzville, was a distinguished scholar and award-winning athlete in high school and college who became a skilled bowler later in life. He was a 1994 recipient of the Black Achievers in Industry Award.

Described by his family as a dedicated, dependable, conscientious and hardworking family man, he was so adept with technology that he could build a computer from scratch.

Mr. Hicks was born in Buffalo, the third of four children of Willie Hicks and Elizabeth (Brown) Hicks. He joined the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at a young age.

Mr. Hicks was a graduate of Buffalo Public School 47. At East High School, he was distinguished as both a scholar and athlete. He was a Yale Cup winner in basketball and a member of the All-High New York State championship team. In track, he was an All-High New York State Champion, running the 440-yard dash and anchoring the relay team to a Western New York championship. He graduated with honors and was senior class president.

Mr. Hicks attended Colgate University on a full academic and athletic scholarship. He was a member of the Colgate University basketball team and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973.

That same year, Mr. Hicks returned to Buffalo to work for AT&T. He worked there for 38 years, as the company's name changed to Verizon. At the time of his retirement in 2011, he was Fios manager.

After retirement, Mr. Hicks worked as a tax preparer and auditor at Jackson Hewitt for three years. Verizon convinced him to return as a consultant, but he became ill before he could do so.

On May 2, 1987, he married Lynnette G. (Brown) Hicks.

He was a bowler, often rolling perfect 3oo games.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Eugene W. Hicks Jr. and Corey T. Petties; three brothers, Willie Hicks Jr., Joseph Hicks and Keith Morris Hick; two sisters, LaVada Ann Hicks-Howard and Debra Hicks; a grandson and a granddaughter; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St., with the Rev. Edward Jackson Jr. officiating.

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