SHERWOOD Denzel R. Hicks, 79, Sherwood, died Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, at a Mandan care center.
Denzel was born Dec. 15, 1933, to Sheridan and Rosa May (Mcpherson) Hicks, on a farm near Mcleansboro, Ill. After graduating from high school in 1951, he became employed by the Chrysler Corp. in Indiana.
Denzel married Elizabeth "Betty" Gale Hasten on Nov. 15, 1954, in Corinth, Miss. They had four children: daughters, Darice, Rebecca and Polly; and a son, Bruce. After their marriage, he was employed by General Motors in Flint, Mich., and Chicago, Ill.
In 1958, they moved to Kimball, Neb., where he began employment with Chandler & Simpson, an Independent Oil Drilling and Production Co. In 1964, he was transferred to North Dakota. He moved to Sherwood in the fall of 1964 and had since made his home there.
Denzel was involved in all phases of the company's activities in the drilling and production of oil. In 1995, he organized North Coast Pumping, and contract operated the company's oil leases in North Dakota. His wife of 56 years, Betty, died Aug. 24, 2010.
Denzel was raised a Master Mason on March 10, 1966, at Tyrian Lodge #113, Sherwood. He served as Master of his Lodge in 1971 and again in both 1986 and 1987. He served as Lodge Secretary for many years.
Denzel was a member of the Raboni Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Portal and of the International Peace Garden Lodge. He was a member of the Minot Scottish Rite Bodies and Kem Temple of the Shrine. He and Betty were members of the Order of Eastern Star Chapter in Mohall.
Denzel was appointed District Deputy Grand Lecturer in 1973 and again in 1991. In 1992, he was appointed Grand Tyler by M.W. Jim Savaloja. He moved progressively up the Grand Line until being elected Grand Master of Masons in the state of North Dakota on June 12, 1998, at the Annual Communication in Grand Forks.
Denzel was a member of the United Methodist Church, Sherwood, where he previously served as Chairman of the Trustees. His hobbies included the restoration and collecting of old cars from the 1940s and early 1950s, as well as sales promotional literature from that era. He and Betty enjoyed antiquing and owned North Coast Antiques as a weekend hobby business for many years.
Family: children, Darice (Paul) Herigstad, Mohall, Bruce (Deb) Hicks, Bismarck, Becky (Steve) Thilmony, and Polly (Brian) Bahm, all of Mandan; 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Denzel was preceded in death by his wife, Betty.
Memorial service: Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, at 11 a.m., at United Methodist Church, Sherwood.
(Brose Funeral Home, Mohall)