James D. Wicks

James D. Wicks

James D. Wicks, 81, of Tyler died on Feb. 19, 2019, in Tyler.

A graveside service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Waresville Cemetery in Utopia.

He was born June 5, 1937, in Clovis, New Mexico, to Mavis (Shinn) and Gordon Wicks.

He served as chairman of the East Texas section of the American Chemical Society, where he was a member for 50 years.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and later with a master’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos. He was a member of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education.

The family says Wicks was the first chemistry instructor employed by Tyler Junior College in 1963, and during his 38 year career, he served as coordinator and director of the chemistry program. Many of his former students have gone on to become nurses, physicians, pharmacists, dentists and veterinarians.

Former student Jim Deason once said, “He’s a fine man and a very wise man. More than just education, he has a biblical perspective on science and shares that with students from the first day of class.”

According to the family, he loved to teach the science of creation and also about his Lord and Savior through personal Bible studies, classes and from the pulpit. He served as a church deacon, elder and minister for many years.

He was a member of the Utopia Church of Christ.

Wicks was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Willa Hicks; two sons, David Wicks and wife, Ginny, all of Tyler and Tim Wicks of Bella Vista, Arkansas; daughter, Debbie VanWinkle and husband, Ted, of Heber Springs, Arkansas; two brothers, Frank Wicks and Gene Wicks and his wife, Vicky, all of Clovis, New Mexico; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A visitation was held on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway, Tyler..

A service was held Friday at 2 p.m. at University Church of Christ in Tyler. Neal Thurman officiated.

Pallbearers were Joshua VanWinkle, Jon VanWinkle, Timothy Wicks, James Wicks, Johnny Wicks, Jared Hodges and Jacob Farley.

Memorial donations can be made to Medina Children’s Home: 21300 State Highway 16 N, Medina, TX 78055.

Stewart Family Funeral Home, www.stewartfamilyfuneral.com

To submit an obituary for publication in the Uvalde Leader-News, please contact Julye Keeble by phone at 830-278-3335, email at jkeeble@ulnnow.com, or see our website at www.uvaldeleadernews.com and click on the “Forms and submissions” link at the top of the page.

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