June Bowman Hicks Courtright, 98, loving mother, gardener extraordinaire, and lifelong inspiration, died at home, on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 surrounded by her family in Eufaula, Alabama.
She is survived by her children, Jody Bowman Hicks (Deborah Collins) of Thomaston, Georgia, Edgar Stennette Hicks (Deborah Whitmore) of Eufaula, Alabama, and Mary Yslan Hicks (William B. Jones, Jr.) of Little Rock, Arkansas, and by her granddaughter, Heather Hicks, of Claxton, Georgia.
June was born in Jacksboro, Tennessee, the youngest child of Lewis and Dora Bowman, on May 11, 1914. She lost her mother to the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1919 and was reared by her older sister, Catherine Yslan, to whom she was devoted. By her account, it was an idyllic childhood marked by excursions to the top of Eagle Bluff in the Cumberland Mountains on her horse, Old Bird, with her Buddy Dog in the saddle with her.
She played basketball for the Jacksboro High School Blue Dashers and recalled a particular fan who called out to her, “Shoot the moon, Miss Junie, shoot the moon!” Her high-school sweetheart, D. D. Scott, was no match for the swarm of college-educated Tennessee Valley Authority engineers who swept into Campbell County to build Norris Dam in 1933. She married an Auburn graduate, and ultimately moved to New Jersey.
During WWII, June participated as a civilian volunteer for the Aircraft Warning Service. Following the war, June married Edgar Stubbs Hicks, Jr. They moved to Edgar’s hometown, Yatesville, Georgia, where Ed served as postmaster. They lived together for more than thirty years and reared three children.
June was a member of the Yatesville Methodist Church and sang in the choir. She was active in the Yatesville Women’s Club, Library Club and both the Yatesville and Thomaston Garden Clubs. She was a Pink Lady Volunteer with the URMC Auxiliary, as well as with LaFollette Medical Center in Tennessee and Lakeview Community Hospital in Eufaula. In August 2000, she received a pin from LaFollette Medical Center recognizing 2,000 hours of service.
In later life, June married Stanley J. Courtright, who moved her back to her beloved Cumberland Mountains and built a home for her there. They lived in LaFollette until his death in 2000. Eufaula has been her home since.
June loved the arts. As a teenager, she was a member of a trio that sang at weddings. She played the piano by ear and enjoyed “dueling pianos” with her sister. With little prompting, she might offer acquaintances an impromptu
song and dance. She was a great whistler and was a terrific storyteller. Her bearded German irises were unforgettable; she could name every one.
The funeral service, officiated by the Reverend Warren F. Whitmore, was held at the Yatesville United Methodist Church on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 2 p.m. The graveside commitment followed the funeral service in the adjacent church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to the Yatesville United Methodist Church, c/o James Ellington, 144 Magnolia Circle, Yatesville, Georgia 31097.
Pasley-Fletcher Funeral Home is coordinating the services.