We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Hickson Funeral Home
Helen Vernessa Hicks- Wiley was born on June 25, 1943 in Georgetown, South Carolina the eighth of sixteen children born to the late Deacon Israel Hicks, Sr. and the late Mrs. Florence A. Hicks. She was reared in a Christian home and accepted Jesus Christ at an early age at St. Stephen AME Church in Georgetown, South Carolina.
Helen was educated in the public schools of Georgetown County School District and in 1959 she graduated from Howard High School. After graduation from High School, she attended Tuskegee University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education on May 29, 1967. Later, she received her Master’s Degree from Nova Southeastern.
She was blessed with three beautiful children Tony Emmanuel Hicks, Sharon Lolita Hicks Tolbert, and Dr. Harlan Meguiel Hicks.
In 1967, she moved to Fort Myers and began her teaching career at Lee Middle School. She immediately joined St. John First Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. J. L. Stephens. At St. John First Missionary Baptist Church she was active in various ministries during her 55 years of membership to include Sunday School Teacher, Board of Directors, member of the Stephens Chorus, Hospitality Ministry, member of the Couples Ministry and the SALT Ministry. Never one to be idle, her hands were always busy serving God and others.
In 1975, she joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and became a life member of the Sorority in 2005. She served in various positions to include twice serving as President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Chair of Hospitalities and Welfare. In addition, she was Chairperson of many committees.
On June 9, 1979, she married the love of her life, Dillon L. Wiley. She was the proverbial help mate ensuring that her husband was taken care of well.
She was nominated by Bonita Springs Middle School and was awarded the Ida S. Baker Distinguished Minority Educator recognition award on March 18, 1997. Her first retirement from the School District of Lee County was as Assistant Principal at Bonita Springs Middle School in 2008. Then beginning in 2011, she worked many years for the District at Dunbar Community School teaching reading, writing and literature in the GED program. Still not one to be idle, she also volunteered at the Lee County Justice Center.
She was predeceased by her parents, her siblings Julia, Louise, Mary Joyce, Doris, David, Daniel, Boyd, Edell, and Avil.
She leaves to remember her with beautiful memories, her beloved husband, Dillon Wiley; daughter, Sharon Tolbert; sons, Tony Hicks and Dr. Harlan Hicks; sisters, Shirley Hicks, Jeannette Perricone, Patricia (Rev. Harold) Hunter; brothers Israel (Geraldine) Hicks, Rev. Ervin (Virginia) Hicks, Alvin (Dr. Loretta) Hicks; grandchildren Harlan (Tasha) Watkins, Maccorios Tamonya, Megan Tolbert, Michael Tolbert, Morgan Tolbert, Mackenzie Tolbert and Brittany Tiffault; great-grandchildren Jordan, Emory and Ryan Watkins, Carter and Christian Tolbert; Sister- in- Laws Maretha Wiley and Frances Hall; Brother-In-Laws Robert, Howard and Cornell Wiley; nieces, nephews and cousins; adopted daughters Janice Blackmore and Brenda Griggs, several Godchildren; traveling partners Willie and Minnie Jackson, Clarence and Jeanette James, Lloyd and Debra Landrum and Willie and Phyllis Calloway; Sorority members, Church family and a host of sorrowing friends.