Betty Nell (Nipper) Hickman – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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Betty Nell (Nipper) Hickman, age 80, of Florence, Alabama, passed peacefully at home on August 27, 2012 following a courageous battle with cancer. She was born June 28, 1932 to Thomas D. and Vester (Kelley) Nipper. On December 6, 1946, she married the love of her life, Willie Smith Hickman. Mrs. Hickman believed in and enjoyed charity work whether it was volunteering, participating in fund drives, or donating to the needy and less-fortunate. Her volunteer activities included the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and as a troop leader with Girl Scouts of America. She worked at Campus Inn on the campus of Florence Teachers College in the 1950’s and Woolworth. She retired in 1995 after a 17-year career with Parisian, Inc. Betty will be especially remembered for her love of the outdoors, gardening, antiques, working with crafts, and spending time with her family. Survivors include: Willie S. Hickman, her loving husband of 64 years; daughter, Jeanie Hickman Bates and husband, Marion – Lawrenceburg, TN; granddaughter, Melissa Hickman Bailey and husband, David – Florence, AL; grandson, Will Echols and fiancée, Brittney Hice – Florence, AL; step-grandsons, Blaine Bates and Alex Bates – Lawrenceburg, TN; two great-grandchildren, John David Bailey and Olivia Melissa Bailey; sisters, Barbara Ann Vaughn and Ophelia Lovelace, both of Florence; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Betty was greeted in Heaven by her parents, Thomas D. and Vester (Kelley) Nipper, her baby daughter, Willie Frances; sisters: Juanita Whitehead, Elsie Butler, Dorothy Brown, Frances Ezell; brothers: Thomas Nipper, Jr., Edison Nipper, Billy Sherrill Nipper. Visitation will be held Wednesday August 29th from 6:00-9:00 pm at Elkins Funeral Home, Florence. Funeral Service will be held Thursday at 11:00 am in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow at Greenview Cemetery. Reverend Andy Sullivan will officiate. Pallbearers include: John McKelvey, Lee McKelvey, Kyle McKelvey, Keith Vaughn, Gerry Vaughn, and David Lovelace. Please consider memorial contributions to the St. Joseph School Foundation or St. Joseph PTO, 115 Plum St., Florence, AL 35630, in honor of John David and Olivia Bailey. The family of Mrs. Hickman gratefully acknowledges: the staff and nurses of Hospice Tennessee Valley with special heartfelt appreciation to: Mrs. Stephanie Luman, RN, Mrs. Meredith Auchly, RN, Mrs. Cindy Ray, RN, and Mrs. Mary Wood, CNA; the staff of the City of Florence Planning and Community Development Department; Father Andy Sullivan and friends and staff of St. Joseph Catholic School and Church; Brother Stacy and Sister Angie Holt.

Elkins Funeral Home is assisting.   Guestbook at


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