Myrtle May Hicks

Friday, February 12, 2010

Myrtle May Hicks, 91, Nevada, passed away on Feb. 10, 2010, at Barone Alzheimer's Care Center in Nevada. She was born on April 25, 1918, to William C. Frye and Maggie Ann Davis Frye, in Cedar Springs, Mo.

Myrtle May Frye grew up in Nevada, graduating from Nevada High School on May 26, 1937, and resided here her entire life. Her father served in World War I and two of her brothers as well as both her stepsons served in World War II, representing Nevada on the war front and she knew the cost loved ones gave for our freedom. She also lived through the Great Depression which affected her all of her life.

On Aug. 27, 1937 she married Grant Hicks who was the love of her life and moved to 1600 W. Austin where she lived for almost 66 years. In her early years she was a stenographer and later worked side by side with Grant in his shop building miniature trains. She would tell us that she painted, used the drill press and did everything but weld. They built a 3-foot-tall steam engine that was powered by a real steam-producing boiler which ran on tracks around they yard. Adults and kids both lined up to take a ride. In 1953 they opened Kiddie Land in Pittsburg, Kan., and she and Grant became one of the first amusement park entrepreneurs. Grant built many of the rides for the park including a miniature ferris wheel and Myrtle operated the park until its sale in 1961.

Myrtle never backed away from anything and when Grant bought a motorcycle she rode alongside in a sidecar. Later she had her own matching Indian motorcycle and they would ride together all over the country. This was in a day when it was not common for women to ride motorcycles much less driving their own. In 1942 she and Grant rode to Garden of the Gods in Colorado where they went out on the bridge and carved their names on it. They enjoyed their life together including their love for travel until Grant's death in 1980. She lived a rich and full life and will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

Myrtle was active in the Missouri Pacific Women's Club, delivered Meals on Wheels for many years as well as helping with the American Red Cross blood drives. She loved the Lord with all her heart from a young child and taught Sunday school for many years. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church until her health would no longer allow her to be. She has requested her favorite song ,"How Great Thou Art" to be sung at her funeral.

Myrtle May Hicks is survived by one nephew, Lawrence Hicks, El Dorado Springs, Mo.; one niece, Aleen Wright, of Webb City; beloved foster daughter, Jonet Anderson; and her two daughters, Whitney and Nicole (granddaughters) and Elle (great-granddaughter) of the state of California; granddaughter Susan Souto and husband Sal, of Wellington, Fla., and their sons (great-grandsons) Daniel Souto, Sal Souto IV and wife Jeri and their children Elise and Evan; grandson Steven Hicks, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; as well as numerous great-nieces and nephews including: Joyce Wallace, Rachel Stinson, Tim Wallace and Kevin Gilpin who lovingly called her "Grandma Myrtle"; and Carol Girven, a great-niece who helped oversee her care at the Barone Unit. She was preceded in death by her husband Grant; both parents; two brothers, Leslie and Earl Frye; one stepbrother Charles Gann; an infant sister Velma; stepsons Albert Hicks and James Hicks and his wife Dorothy; stepdaughter Alfarata McDonald; and a greatgrandson James Grant Souto.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with the Rev. Hubert Fox officiating. Interment will follow in Newton Burial Park, Nevada, where she will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband. Friends may call now and until the hour of service at the funeral home.

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