Cover photo for Brendell Hicks's Obituary
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1924 Brendell 2022

Brendell Hicks

August 23, 1924 — July 7, 2022

August 23, 1924 marks the day an equally beautiful and humble soul named Brendell Conley graced this earth with her presence. It was the beginning of a life well lived, filled with precious memories and a remarkable testimony of God’s favor.

Born to the late Basco and Geraldine (Spears) Conley in Hillsboro, Texas, Brendell was the oldest of two children. Her brother, Basco Jr., preceded her in death. She was a proud auntie to her only niece, Betty Johnson, who is with us today. She was also a devoted daughter who loved her parents and was honored to care for them in their later years.

Despite the challenges of being a woman of color pre Civil Rights Movement–and even being explicitly told by a teacher that her aspirations were too high–Brendell trail blazed a path of success. She graduated from East High School; worked at Denver’s Union Station and the United States Air Force Finance Center; completed a business course in sewing; and completed Emily Griffith Opportunity School’s Upholstery and Machine Embroidery programs. The self-made seamstress had a strong eye for fashion and was so accomplished in her career that her clients never allowed her to truly retire her sewing machine, much to her delight. She produced fashion in every form well into her 90s.

Somehow, in the midst of breaking barriers for generations to come, Brendell found time for love. She was smitten by a handsome military man who she says treated her with the utmost dignity and respect. On April 10, 1956, she married this man, United States Air Force Master Sergeant Curtis Hicks, who she will be laid to rest with.

Curtis and Brendell enjoyed a fun-filled and fruitful 51 years of marriage. From this union, five children were born: Alfred Hicks, Cynthia (George) Hicks, Curtis Jr. (Christa) Hicks, Geraldine Pressley, and Robert Hicks, all of whom are left to cherish her memory. She would get tickled when sharing how her doctor jokingly shouted, “Not YOU again!” each time she came in pregnant. She deeply valued family and was elated to expand hers.

Brendell became the most skilled housewife whose children were her pride and joy. In them, she instilled faith and a lifelong love of learning. She read to her children as often as possible, served on their schools’ Parent Teacher Associations and encouraged each child to seek a higher education. Motherhood suited her well, but her legacy didn’t end there.

Brendell was blessed to know all 10 of her grandchildren: Calandra (Langston) Anthony, Danielle Collins, Cherelle Hicks, Darius Hicks (Cayla Wright), Desiree Hicks, Dimitri Hicks, Dinah Hicks, Avery Hicks, Aidan Hicks, and Shakur Hicks. She was further blessed to have known her 12 great-grandchildren: Chloe Collins, Delagna Hicks, David Hicks, Derrick Hicks, Cai’ly Davis, Kaiden Hicks, Justin Cowell, Guilford Hicks, Aria Williams, Torrieo Williams Jr., Taj Williams and Kyrie Anthony. The youngest was born in 2021, a rare occasion where both he and his great-grandmother were born in the 20s, nearly a century apart.

Oh how she yearned for at least ONE of her children or grandchildren to play baseball, her favorite sport. To her great (and very vocalized) disdain, we are sad to report that not a single person in her lineage took an interest in the game.

The only love that filled Brendell’s heart more than her family was her love for the Lord. She was a proud member of Shorter African Methodist Episcopal Church and a long-time, committed servant. The church was her source of balance. She enjoyed every minute of her time as a Senior Usher Board member, Youth Usher Board director, Ira E. Slack Women's Missionary Society treasurer, and Leadership Retreat member. She could also be found at Shorter’s weekly Bible studies, in the food bank helping those in need or gracing the runway at Shorter’s fashion shows where she strutted her own designs like the true fashionista she was. Just as notable was her involvement in the church’s fundraisers where her baked goods were in the highest demand. Brendell would sell out immediately and have to take orders home!

We all salivate at the thought of her signature fruit cakes, pristine triple-layer coconut cakes, peach and apple cobblers and every other treat she baked from scratch because she always added an extra dash of love. She may not have passed down her love for baseball, but she certainly passed down her sweet tooth.

When she wasn’t serving up these sweet confections, hosting gatherings in her home, feeding ducks at City Park, strolling the zoo or watching planes take off and land at the airport, Brendell enjoyed road tripping across the states. She visited “The Big Apple,” Vegas and more while listening to her favorite tunes, which include gospel, Nat King Cole, Fats Domino, Tom Jones, and Wayne Newton.

At the tender age of 97, Brendell, affectionately known as “MaMa”, The Hicks Family’s beloved matriarch and our fiercest prayer warrior, walked into the arms of the Lord on July 7, 2022. May she bask in all His glory until we meet again.

She leaves a host of family and friends whom she held near and dear. In her honor, we hope you enjoy a few of her favorite things: dancing, ice cream, chocolate and blackeyed peas.

“I lived a good life! Yessir. I enjoyed myself.” - Brendell “MaMa” Hicks

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Brendell Hicks, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Celebration of Life

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

Shorter Community AME Church

3100 Richard Allen Ct, Denver, CO 80205

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Interment

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Fort Logan National Cemetery

4400 W Kenyon Ave, Denver, CO 80236

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Reception

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Shorter Community AME Church

3100 Richard Allen Ct, Denver, CO 80205

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