READING –Funeral services for Howard F. Hickey, 68, who died Feb. 2 at the Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center in Springfield with his daughter at his side, will be held Friday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Knight Funeral Home in Windsor. Friends may call Thursday evening, Feb. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Knight Funeral Home. Burial will be held in the Amsden Cemetery in Reading.
Howard was born March 3, 1944 in Montpelier, the son of Harry and Gloria (Frazier) Young.
His family moved to Springfield, when he was in first grade. When Howard was a freshman the family moved to the old family homestead in Reading, which Howard later purchased from his stepfather (William Hickey) and resided in until he died. As a young boy he was very active in Boy Scouts. During his high school years he worked part time at the Lexington Farm in Reading. Following his graduation from Springfield High School in 1962, he went to work for Mac Molding in Cavendish, VT. Howard was there for a short time before he traveled to Fishersville, Virginia to study and earn his degree in Mechanical Drafting from the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation School. He returned to Vermont and went back to work for Mac Molding. Shortly after, he started his long career in mechanical drafting first at Jones and Lamson Machine Company in Springfield where he worked until the big lay-off in 1970. He held draftsman positions at Cone-Blanchard in Windsor, Vermont Castings in Randolph, and the Drafting Job Shop in North Springfield.
Throughout his life, Howard also worked various other jobs in farming, carpentry, plumbing, ski areas and in the restaurant business. He took many of the jobs just to learn a new skill, regardless of the low pay. For about the last thirteen years, before retiring at age 62, Howard worked as a caretaker for an estate in West Windsor.
Howard loved to sing. He started as a young boy singing for hours in front of the radio. When he returned from Virginia he learned to play the guitar. In the early 1970’s he became the lead singer in a band from Woodstock named “The Ignitions”. Later he would perform solo at many of the various nightclubs and Killington ski area. He made many friends and fans during this time. Howard also sang in a number of variety shows in and around Reading. He wrote over a dozen songs, recording one as a “45”. His love of music never died; he sang a couple of the songs he wrote just a few months before he passed.
But if music was his first love, deer hunting and spending time in the great outdoors was a very close second. Howard was an avid deer hunter, filling his Vermont deer tag each season for forty years and doing so with just one shot each year. He took up turkey hunting in his later years, which he also enjoyed.
Howard served as the Reading Constable for ten years and was very proud of the fact that in 1982 he graduated high in his class at the Basic Training Course at the Vermont Police Academy. He also served his hometown as Town Grand Juror, Town Agent and the Town Pound Keeper.
He is survived by his daughter and her husband, Shannon and Mike Kenison of Pittsfield, a brother, Bruce Hickey of Windsor a sister Susan LaFevere of West Rutland, three stepbrothers, two stepsisters, and many very special and dear friends, whom he considered family.
He was predeceased by a brother John Hickey; and a sister, Patricia Biathrow.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center, 105 Chester Road, Springfield, VT 05156 or the VNA Hospice of VT and NH at 38 Pleasant Street, Springfield, VT 05156.
Condolences may be expressed to his family in an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com
This obituary first appeared in the Feb. 4, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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