David Hicks, 88, of Cooper City, Florida passed away peacefully on April 24, 2017 at Kindred Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, following a long illness.
Born in East Providence, Rhode Island on April 21, 1929, the youngest of 11 children born to Paul and Ella (Costello) Hicks. Raised and educated in East Rhode Island. Following high school, David enlisted into the United States Air Force, serving in Panama. He attained the rank of Sargent. He married Lenice J. Peever on July 29, 1956 in Salem, New Hampshire.
David started working at the race track as a groom when he was 14 years old. He worked as a foreman for George Handy before taking out his trainers license in 1951 at Scarborough Downs in Maine. He built a successful public stables and trained for Peter Fuller throughout New England. In 1969, he became State Steward in New Hampshire and then shortly after Association Steward at Suffolk Downs in Boston, Massachusetts. After his appointment as State Steward at Suffolk Downs, David established the Apprentice Programs for the young riders. The programs purpose was to promote safety during the running of races. To this day the program has been adopted in many jurisdictions. In 1981, Hicks moved his family to South Florida. Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park was the next step in his journey. Hialeah Park was soon to follow. In 1995, Hicks was asked to take his experience and head to New York. At NYRA, David was the Association Steward. Belmont Park, Aqueduct Race Track and Saratoga Race Course was the judge's finale. In 2005, Dave retired and headed back to Florida.
Survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Lenice J. (Peever) Hicks, five loving children, Len (Robin) Hicks, David (Joann) Hicks, Robin (Ron) Kalil, John (Rebecca) Hicks and Ruth (Wayne) Freeston, twelve grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Visitation on Saturday, April 29th from 3:00 - 5:00 P.M. at Fred Hunters Hollywood Memorial Home, 6301 Taft Street, Hollywood. Funeral Service will begin at 5:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to P.D.J. F. Permanently Disabled Jockey's Fund. at P.O. Box 803, Elmhurst, IL 60126.
Interment will be private.