Jeffrey Allen Hicken, 47, of Waupun, passed away Friday, June 18, 2021 at UW Hospital in Madison, surrounded by love.
Jeff was born February 1, 1974 in Fond du Lac, to Pat and Margaret (nee Wirth) Hicken. Following his graduation from Lomira High School, Jeff went on to serve on the Wisconsin FFA Officer Team as State Sentinel. After completing his year of service, he attended UW-River Falls, majoring in agricultural education. While at school he met the love of his life, Sheri Holt, and they were married on July 24, 1999.
Upon graduation, Jeff followed his passion for agricultural education to Sauk Prairie High School, where he served as the agricultural education instructor for just under eight years. Jeff dedicated himself to the program, the FFA chapter, his students, and the community. He often began class by saying, “Without agriculture…” to which his students would respond, “…there is nothing.” Jeff was recognized time and again for his many accomplishments as a teacher, including being named Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year and receiving the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Award and Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators' Outstanding Young Member Award.
Desiring to do more for agricultural education and FFA in Wisconsin, Jeff accepted a position as Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education Consultant and State FFA Advisor with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In this role, Jeff helped to implement and evaluate curriculum, supported agricultural education instructors across the state and nationally, and advised the Wisconsin FFA Officer Team – a responsibility which brought him great joy.
Jeff had a heart for service and participated in numerous coalitions, committees, and boards, including the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Board of Directors, National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees, National Association of State Supervisors of Agriculture Education (NASAE) Board of Directors, AgrAbility of Wisconsin Advisory Council, and School for Agricultural & Environmental Studies (SAGES) Foundation Board.
Jeff’s legacy lies in family: his wife of 21 years, Sheri and their two sons, Cole and Drew, as well as in the many lives he touched over the years. Together with his family, Jeff enjoyed sharing his faith with the congregations at Salem United Methodist in Fond du Lac, and Emmanuel Waupun. Jeff’s greatest joy was attending his boys’ many activities – especially their athletic events. He would often be found cheering them on from the sidelines. Jeff also enjoyed sharing many laughs with his friends and family, fishing, deer hunting, and golfing.
Jeff is further survived by his parents, Pat and Margaret Hicken; brother, John (Bobbi) Hicken; mother-in law and father-in-law, Tom and Agnes Holt; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Travis (Ellen) Holt, Scott (Sheri) Holt, Aaron (Jeana) Holt, Shana (Tim) Johnson, and Brandon (Myra) Holt; as well as many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held Saturday, June 26, 2021 at Waupun Area Junior/Senior High School at 801 E Lincoln Street from 2-3 p.m. Friends and relatives may call on the family at the high school from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and again following the service from 3-5 p.m.
The funeral service will be livestreamed on Werner-Harmsen’s Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established in the future. Please make all memorial contributions to the “Family of Jeff Hicken.” Memorial contributions can be sent to National Exchange Bank & Trust, P.O. Box 151, Waupun, WI 53963.
The family wishes to extend its gratitude to the staff at both St. Mary’s Hospital and UW Hospital in Madison for their compassionate care of Jeff in his final weeks.
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