Information on the life of John P Hickey, Sr

John Patrick Hickey of Carmel Terrace, Framingham, MA, formerly of Wellesley Hills and Dover, passed away peacefully in the company of his family at Metro West Medical Center in Framingham on Sunday, February 24 at the age of 90.


John was born in South Bend, IN on May 24, 1922 to the late Thomas Louis Hickey and Kathryn Barbara Hiss. He was the sixth of eight children. At the age of five he and his brothers "played football" with the iconic Notre Dame football coach, Knute Rockne, who was the family's next- door neighbor, and the godson of John's parents. He received his Boy Scout's Eagle Badge in 1937. He attended South Bend Central High School where he excelled at sports and academics, and was senior class president, graduating at the top of his 1940 class. He also played basketball and baseball for the legendary Coach John Wooden at Central High. John attended the University of Notre Dame (class of '44). He played baseball for the school and won his varsity monogram in addition to the annual 1943 Byron V. Kanaley Award, recognizing the student who excelled at scholarship and athletics.


World War II interrupted his studies. John enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and went to Boston, MA for training in the Naval Supply Corps. It is there he met his future wife, Mary Virginia Hennigan. He served as a naval paymaster in Pearl Harbor, HI from 1944 to 1946, and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant J.G. On September 7, 1946 John and Mary Hennigan were married in Jamaica Plain, MA. They returned to South Bend to allow John to complete his studies at Notre Dame where he graduated in 1947 with a B.S.C. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude. He was one of five Hickey sons to graduate from the university and one of twenty-nine descendants of his parents to graduate from the school.


John and Mary then moved to Boston so that he could enroll at Harvard Business School where he earned his M.B.A. in retailing in1949. John began his business career at Jordan Marsh Company department store in Boston that year and retired from the company in 1987 as the Vice President and General Manager of the Framingham store. John continued to be active athletically during his life. He was the tennis partner of the late Dr. Joseph E. Murray, Nobel Laureate, for over 35 years.


Having graduated from Notre Dame, John had a fervent devotion to Our Lady. He and Mary made ten pilgrimages to Our Lady's shrine in Fatima, Portugal. John distributed over 2500 chaplets (miniature rosaries) that had been blessed by Fr. Mariani of Casa Alta in Fatima, to friends and family across the country. His Royal highness, King Kigeli (of Rwanda in exile) was impressed by John and Mary’s many contributions, and subsequently ennobled the Hickeys with the tile of Baron for John, and Baroness for his wife Mary, which is registered in internationally recognized annals of nobility.


John was predeceased by four brothers (Tom Jr., Lou, Don, and Jerry) and by a sister Kathleen. He is survived by: his wife of 66 years, Mary, a brother Joe Hickey of Niles, MI, and a sister Patricia Hickey Sarb of Dearborn, MI; five children: John P. Hickey, Jr. (Kathleen) of Milwaukee, WI, Katherine Anne Hickey Parcels (the late Burt Parcels, his children and grandchildren) of Centerville, MA, Kevin Thomas Hickey (the late Claire Leonard Hickey) of Braintree, MA, Brian James Hickey (Janet) of Bridgewater, NJ, and Marie Therese "Terry" Hickey of Framingham, MA; eleven grandchildren: Meghan K. Hickey (James Totten), John P. Hickey, III (Tanya), Robert L Hickey, Michael G. Fulham (Christine Santackas), Katherine O. Fulham Kelley (Jon), John B. "Jay" Fulham (Shama), Sarah B. J. Fulham, Daniel P. Fulham (Daniella Cruz), Brian J. Hickey, Jr., Justin A. Hickey and Elizabeth K. Hickey; eight great grandchildren: Goldie L. Hickey, Samson L. Hickey, Geronimo Q. Kelley, Claire J. Kelley, Lilah M. Fulham, Kaylin A. Fulham, Marcus R. Fulham and Maddison Tyler. He was interred at St. Joseph's Cemetery following a Funeral Mass with overflowing worshippers at St. Paul's Church, Wellesley, Mass.