James “Jim” Henry Hickle
James “Jim” Henry Hickle of Wasilla, AK, was born January 2nd, 1944 in Hinckley, Minnesota at home on the family farm. Jim passed away peacefully with his family by his side November 11, 2021, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage as the result of a brain aneurysm. He was the second oldest of nine children born to Henry Hickle and Myrtle Wooster. Jim grew up on the family farm and developed his love for the outdoors and trapping in the traditions passed down by his grandfather and uncle. He graduated from Hinckley High School in 1961 and shortly thereafter joined the Army. He was stationed at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska and was present for the Good Friday Earthquake in 1964. Alaska offered him an endless place to hunt, fish, and occasionally pan for gold. He fell in love with the State and never wanted to leave.
In 1965, Jim returned to Minnesota to learn the trade of commercial painting and returned to his beloved Alaska in the summer of 1967 with his wife and two daughters. Jim learned to fly to access more places for adventure and soon acquired a Piper Super Cub. As a young pilot, he honed his flying skills and his aircraft became an extension of himself, soaring through mountains searching for wildlife, beachcombing from above and landing anywhere from tundra to beaches and even glaciers. He flew his Cub to his commercial salmon set net fishing site in Bristol Bay, where he built a cabin and fished for reds and silvers for 17 years. After selling his operation in Bristol Bay, he reinvested in Halibut Fishing Quotas.
In 1981, he staked a plot of land near the Hartman River and along the future Jim Hickle Lake. He built a hunting cabin that became his sanctuary, where he hunted and trapped and often hosted friends and family. Blueberry picking and feeding birds and squirrels was a pastime when he wasn’t skunking his opponents at cribbage. He was in his element there and had a keen sense of the Alaskan wilderness and of the animals he hunted. The term “avid outdoorsman” does not even begin to describe Jim. This past year, at age 77, he was still flying, wolf hunting, hiking, and moose hunting with his two sons. For the 2020-21 season, he was the Cribbage State Champion and the Grass Roots Cribbage Club champion. In December 2019 he met the future Mrs. Jo Hickle and they married and honeymooned in Hawaii in April, 2021. Jim and Jo were active in the lives of their children and grandchildren, never missing sporting events or family functions. Together they enjoyed gardening, home improvement projects, and traveling. Their happiness and love for one another radiated to everyone they encountered.
Jim is survived by his wife Jo Hickle; children Patricia (Scott) Thompson, Donna Hickle, Patrick (Emalie) Hickle, Lucas (Alexis) Hickle; grandchildren, Alexis (Corbin) Boettger, Erica Clerf, Lindsay Clerf, Robert Hickle; and great-granddaughter, Baby E. New family members; Juliane (JD) Schultz, Robert (Jolyn) Jillson, Micheal (Fawn) Jillson, Amy Macomb and fifteen grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers, Randy, Mark, & Larry Hickle and sister, Barb Hickle-Grove as well as numerous friends and family members. James was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine Olander Hickle in 2007, and his parents Henry and Myrtle (Wooster) Hickle, brothers, Jerome, Joseph and Curtis Hickle.
A Celebration of Life will be held November 21, 2021 from 3:00 — 7:00 pm at the Palmer Moose Lodge 1136 S Cobb St, Palmer, AK 99645.