Betty J. Hickmann

Betty J. Hickmann, 91, passed away peacefully on January 5, 2021. She was born in 1929 to Alphonse and Gertrude Beck in Chicago, IL, living later in Barrington, Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights, IL. She moved to Springfield, IL in late 2019.

Betty is survived by her sister, Ruth Degner of Barrington; six children, Nancy Hickmann (Lee Kramka), Bonnie Hickmann (Bob Adams), Tim Hickmann (Jamie Comerford-Hickmann), Judy Hickmann, Tom Hickmann and Sandy Markech (Jim Bohlen); four grandchildren, six great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, George Hickmann, her two brothers, Robert Beck and Ray Beck and her daughter-in-law, Jill Hayes-Hickmann (Tom).

Betty’s first career was being a full time mother. She later returned to the workforce and enjoyed a long, second career in the publishing industry. Retired at age 70, she loved to golf, bowl, play bridge and travel. She was strong in faith and always active in her church. She volunteered countless hours to various charitable organizations.

Betty's life will be celebrated by her family through a catholic mass at a later date. Donations in Betty's memory may be made to one of her favorite charities, the Misericordia Home, 6300 N. Ridge Ave, Chicago, IL 60660.


A Message from the family of Betty:

Mom finally got the call she’d been waiting for and was given an offer she couldn’t refuse - an everlasting reunion with departed family and friends and the ability to watch over her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren from Heaven. She passed peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, January 5th, exactly how she wanted to go.

Her mission on Earth is done, but what a journey it was! She was born to Alphonse and Gertrude Beck just in time for the Great Depression, so she got an early taste for frugality. She was blessed with two older brothers, Robert and Ray, and an older sister, Ruth, who called Mom “baby sister” until the very end. She met her husband, George Hickmann, on a blind date and love took hold. They were married in May of 1950 and then the excitement began.

Raising her children was her passion, pride, and source of comedy. Her resources were scarce most times, but she never acted like it. She had a way of making the family feel wealthy in love and laughter, so we never knew her to struggle. Who would have known that a pound of hamburger mixed with enough breadcrumbs and ketchup could feed a family of eight, as well as any of their friends who might happen to conveniently stop by at dinner time? Every holiday was made magical by the special things she would prepare. At Christmas, she ensured each of us had an identical number of gifts to open, even if it meant wrapping socks up separately.

Her strength and resilience in times of difficulty was commendable. Our father George passed at age 63 after a lengthy illness. Mom was a prayerful person and always leaned on her faith to guide her through life. It served her very well. She led by example in a way that allowed us to chase our dreams, face our fears and find humor along the way. While we are all very different, we are the same because the importance of family she instilled in us. She was always there for us as we are always there for each other and will be…generation after generation.

As time went on, Mom started working out of the house and advanced steadily into becoming a successful buyer for a publishing company. Though working full time, somehow she always managed to have a hot dinner on the table every night at 6 PM for the kids still at home. Life got more enjoyable for her once she finally kicked the last kid out of the house. She enjoyed her career tremendously but was extremely good at retirement. She volunteered countless hours to various organizations and felt great pride in that work. She loved to golf, bowl, and travel. She had a cohort of friends that would go on adventures together every year. Mom always drove because she didn’t trust anyone else’s driving. She and her sister always went to Florida in February to get out of the cold and find new places to explore. She even made it to Italy once to fulfill her dream of seeing the Vatican.

We got to take Mom on several trips and had many birthday celebrations in her honor in various locations. Mom’s palette matured over time as we exposed her to recipes that didn’t call for 10 cups of breadcrumbs and offered dining at fancy restaurants. Fine dining became a great enjoyment for her, provided she didn’t know the prices….frugality lived on.

We were very blessed to have had her in our lives as long as we did. As we reflect on her now, we realize that while she was a Mom to all of us, our individual relationships with her were very different - but exactly what we, as independent children, needed. We've made our own lives in different places, as she instilled in all of us the confidence to follow our own dreams. She gave us the wings to become who we are - now she has her wings, and we will always have her love in our hearts.

Her legacy will live on forever in the hearts, minds and memories of our family:

Children: Nancy Hickmann and Lee Kramka of California, Bonnie Hickmann and Bob Adams of Arizona, Tim Hickmann and Jamie Comerford-Hickmann of Illinois, Judy Hickmann of Washington, Tom Hickmann of Nevada, and Sandy Markech and Jim Bohlen of Wisconsin.

Grandchildren: Chris and Devon Hickmann, Pat and Kelli Hickmann, Tosh Hickmann, and Clayton Markech.

Great Grandchildren: Emma Hickmann, Charlie Hickmann, Madeline Hickmann, George Hickmann, James Hickmann, and Evelyn Hickmann.

She was our Mom, she was our Friend, she is our Angel. Give Dad a hug for us and Rest in Peace.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Betty J. Hickmann

have a memory or condolence to add?

Diana Jablonski

January 19, 2021

First of all, we want to offer our deepest condolences to Bonnie and all of Betty’s sons and daughters and family members. You are in our thoughts and prayers. My husband, Tony, and I met Betty while attending 11:30 Mass at Our Lady of the Wayside a few years ago. We sat just behind Betty and spoke a little before and after the Masses. She loved sharing that she has six adult children and laughed that they all live out of state. We were fond of your Mom’s stories and always missed her if she did not come to Mass especially when she fell and broke her hip those two times. We found out that Betty passed through the bulletin announcement online. The written story of her life was really done well. We only knew your Mom for a short time during her golden years but we were glad and blessed to have met her. May she RIP.

MartAnn Lentini

January 18, 2021

Such a beautifully written tribute to what sounds like a beautiful person. Only knowing her through Judy, it sounds like she raised an amazing family who all rallied on her behalf to help her through her time of need. We should all be so fortunate. Condolences to all of you and have comfort in knowing you did all you could for her during these difficult and challenging times.

Susie Gilmore

January 10, 2021

What a beautifully written tribute to your mom (and great photo)!! My mom and I had the pleasure of joining Betty, Bonnie and Judy on an Alaskan cruise in 2010. While I’ve been friends with Bonnie since college days, the Alaska trip was the first time I ever socialized with Betty for any extended amount of time. She certainly was an adventurous, witty and delightful woman. My condolences to the family, and may Betty Rest In Peace. ❤️Susie Gilmore

Nancy Karijolich

January 9, 2021

I met Betty 20 years ago in the gift shop at Lutheran General. What a character! She was always smiling and happy and always had an ear to listen to my crazy stories. She always spoke about her family and how blessed she was to have them. What an amazing women!
Rest In Peace Betty!