Cover photo for Joan Elizabeth Hicks's Obituary

Joan Elizabeth Hicks

June 15, 1931 — April 26, 2023


Joan Elizabeth Hicks


Joan “Joanne” Elizabeth Hicks aged 91 passed away surrounded by many loved ones at Agrace Hospice Center in Fitchburg.

Joan was born in Albany Wisconsin on June 15, 1931, to Earl and Johanna (nee Schenk) Zwickey. Her mother passed away when Joan was only 3 weeks old. Joan and her siblings were raised mostly by their grandmother Rose Zwickey. Joan and her sister Gloria were inseparable growing up.

Joan graduated from Albany High school in 1948 and Madison Methodist Hospital’s nursing program in 1951.

Joan met her future husband and the father of their six children on a blind date which set the tone for their amazing and adventurous life together. They were married February 21, 1953, in Monroe Wisconsin. Joan was a loving wife, a devoted daughter, a proud and nurturing mother, a caring aunt, a doting grandmother, an adoring great-grandmother, a kind friend, a compassionate nurse, with a warm and loving smile to all.

Joan and John traveled the United States with their 6 kids in tow. As empty nesters, they enjoyed their adventures abroad. Joan especially loved exploring Switzerland for the beauty and her family’s heritage. Ireland, however, stole her heart.

Joan had a bottomless cookie jar, always filled with the best M&M cookies for after school snacks or oatmeal raisin for John to enjoy. It seemed the only two spices in her cupboard were paprika and chili powder, both used sparingly. The one ingredient she generously added to everything she baked or cooked, was love.

Joan loved all dogs, gardening, and watching and feeding her birds. She sent out cards for every occasion, never missing a birthday or a special event. Joan’s biggest passion was children. She loved rocking and singing to them in her grandmother’s rocking chair.

In addition to raising a large family Joan was a nurse. Her career in nursing was amazingly diverse with a broad spectrum of patients. She was the charge nurse on the pediatric unit at Madison General Hospital and the night supervisor at the Madison Convalescent Center. She could do it all and she did it well.

Joan will be missed dearly by all those who loved her so much, including children Steve (Susan) Hicks, Sue (Bill) Koenig, Shelley Wilker, Scott (June) Hicks and daughter-in-law Jean Hicks. Grandchildren, Shannon Hicks, David Hicks, Megan Brody, Andy Koenig, Michael Wilker, Ryan Wilker, Kevin Wilker, Justin Hicks, Erica Dziatiewicz, Shane Hicks, Jenna Musil, Edward Hicks, Anna Hicks and 10 greatgrandchildren.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Robert Zwickey, Wally Zwickey and Gloria Malay, her beloved husband of almost 70 years, John, and two sons, Stuart and Spencer.

A private family funeral at Cress funeral home and burial in the Union Grove Cemetery in Darlington will be on Mother’s Day, May 14th.

Joan’s family would especially like to thank their home care providers and Agrace Hospice Center for their loving support and compassion.

Memorials to Agrace Hospice Center or to Dale Heights Presbyterian Church are greatly appreciated.

Please share your memories at

Cress Center

6021 University Ave. Madison

(608) 238-8406


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


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