Beloved mother, grandmother and great – grandmother, Mary Jo Hicks, 83, of Southern Pines, N.C., passed on Saturday, May 15th.
Born in Statesboro, GA on January 5, 1938, she was the daughter of the late Joe Clark Hodges and Mary Laura Blackburn Hodges. After graduating Statesboro High School, Mary Jo went on to attend what is now Georgia Southern University. While working in a tobacco auction warehouse in the summer, she met Jesse Ray “Tom” Faulkner, of North Carolina. The two married on November 3, 1957 in Statesboro, GA. They owned and operated tobacco auction warehouses in Aberdeen and West Jefferson, NC and Vidalia, GA.
In 1959, Mary Jo and Tom settled in Moore county and began raising their family. In 1967, after a short illness, Tom passed away. As a single parent, Mary Jo continued to operate their three tobacco warehouses while being a strong, loving mother to her children. Active involvement in her children’s lives was always her first priority her entire life. It was also always very important to maintain her strong lifelong friendships.
In March of 1978, Mary Jo married William Earl “Buzz” Hicks of Southern Pines. Mary Jo continued to operate her businesses, while Buzz operated his. They enjoyed 37 years of marriage and cherished their blended family until Buzz’s passing in May 2015. Their favorite past time was going to the North Carolina coast and boating.
Mary Jo had natural business sense and was active in the community. She served several terms on the Southern Pines Zoning Board. She was a member of the Southern Pines United Methodist Church for 52 years and contributed to the growth of the church through her committee work and support. She was also very active in the early years of establishing The O’Neal School in Southern Pines.
In addition to her parents, Mary Jo was preceded in death by her husbands, Jesse Ray “Tom” Faulkner and William Earl “Buzz” Hicks. She was the mother of Tommy Faulkner, wife Betsy, of Pinehurst and Mary Sue Faulkner of Southern Pines. She was the grandmother of Jesse Ray Faulkner, III and Leslie Morse, husband Seth, and great– grandson Franklin Ray Morse. Mary Jo is also survived by her brother Wendell Hodges, wife Mimi; nephews Brian (Sarah)and Scott Hodges (Allison) and great nephews Ben, Thomas, Samuel and Johnny and great – niece Mary Laura. She was stepmother of Kathy Sanford (Davis), Mary Ellen Piland (Jim), Ann Ryder and William Earl “Bill” Hicks, II. She was the step grandmother of John McDonald (Stephanie), Dan McDonald (Alyce), Jared Piland (Amy), Will Piland, Suzanne Christiana (Matthew) and Tommy Meares (Nicole). She was step – greatgrandmother to Kayla McDonald, Ayden McDonald, Jameson and Whitton Piland, Ella and Jake Christiana and Aurelia and Everly Meares. She is also survived by step sister – in – law Jean Hicks.
She is survived by brother–in–law Hyman Leroy Faulkner (Viola), sister–in–law Sue Horne (David), nephews Tim Faulkner (Kelly), Ben Faulkner (Chrissy), Kent Little, Randy Brauner (Dawn), Hal Pilgreen (Sue) and nieces Donna Hudson and Allyson Pilgreen. She is survived by her great nephews Luke, Andrew, Carson and Kevin and great nieces Brittany, Leighton and Lydia.
A celebration of her life was held at the Southern Pines United Methodist Church, 175 Midland Rd., Southern Pines, on Saturday May 22nd at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Southern Pines United Methodist Church, 175 Midland Rd., Southern Pines, NC 28387.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com.
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.