James J. Hicks, 70, of Schodack, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born in Albany on May 13, 1947, the son of Alice M. Hicks and the late James J. Hicks.
Jim is survived by his wife, and the love of his life, Shirley J. (Ellis) Hicks; his devoted daughters and sons-in-laws, Lorrie and Victor Pizzola, Kimberli and Gregory Carpenter, Jamie and Michael Furgang; grandchildren, Sierra and Anthony Pizzola, Trevor and Spencer Carpenter and Sidney Jude Furgang, all of whom he was immensely proud. He will also be deeply missed by his brother, Kevin R. (Deborah) Hicks, Sr., sister-in-law Mary Sanford (late Thomas), brother-in-law David J. (Sharon) Ellis, and cousin Kathleen M. (Jack) Clark, as well as his treasured nieces and nephews. Jim was pre-deceased by his in-laws David S. and Mary T. Ellis.
Jim retired as a Journeyman Carpenter with more than 30-years of service from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 117/370. He was especially proud of his time as an Apprenticeship Instructor, and the opportunity to teach and share the mastery of his skill. He worked on several notable projects including the South Mall, Dunn Memorial Bridge, SUNY Campus, Colonie Center and Crossgates Mall. Following his retirement from the Carpenter's Union, Jim was a Construction Superintendent with the NYS Office of General Services for more than 10-years, which included oversight for projects at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Being a Carpenter was more than Jim's lifework, it was his passion. He was always generous with his time and talent, helping family and friends.
Jim attended St. Joseph's Academy, Philip Schuyler High School, where he played Varsity Basketball, and HVCC. He enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and proudly served his country as a Gunner's Mate and plank owner on the newly commissioned USS Tripoli (LPH-10). Jim earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Meritorious unit Commendation Ribbon. He continued his commitment to service as First Vice-Commander of the American Legion Gerald O'Neil Post 1683, and a lifelong member of East Greenbush VFW Post 7338.
Jim enjoyed golfing, renovation projects, caring for his meticulous lawn, cheering on his beloved Jets, and traveling. However, he found the greatest joy in spending time with his family, particularly following the adventures of his grandchildren.
Friends and family are invited to call on Sunday, July 30 from 4-8pm at the Rockefeller Funeral Home 165 Columbia Tpk., Rensselaer. A celebration of Jim's life will be held on Monday at 9:30am from the Funeral Home and 10:00am at Holy Spirit Church 667 Columbia Tpk., East Greenbush. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. Contributions may be made in Jim's name to The Community Hospice, St. Peter's Hospital Foundation, 310 S. Manning Boulevard, Albany, NY 12208