Donald (Don) Clegg Hicken, 79, of Springville, Utah, left this world suddenly after a heart attack on September 6th, 2022. His passing has left a large hole in the lives of all who knew him. Don will be remembered for his intelligence, dry wit, insatiable curiosity, and love of learning.
Don was born April 5th, 1943, in Berkeley, California, to Ward McMullin Hicken and Afton Elaine Clegg Hicken. He grew up in several cities in the Salt Lake Valley, and graduated from Granger High School in 1961. He served in the Northern Far East Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1962-1965. This experience ignited a lifelong passion for Asian history, languages, and art which led to an advanced degree in Asian History, a year abroad studying in Taiwan, and assistant professorships at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah; the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah; and the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. He traveled extensively, with trips to Japan, China, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Taiwan, and India, and was fluent in both Japanese and Chinese.
He started his extensive higher education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and earned a Henry Newell Fellowship to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He continued learning throughout his entire life, and pursued knowledge on topics as diverse as astrophysics, classical music theory, geopolitics, and archaeology, among many others.
He met his wife, Shauna Harvey, at a singles ward in 1978, and they were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple in April, 1979. They shared a love of travel, art, and the outdoors that defined their lives together for 43 years. They traveled to national and state parks throughout the West, and loved picnicking in the Uintahs. He suffered a series of catastrophic health problems that seemed insurmountable at times, but the birth of his only child, Susannah, gave his life renewed meaning and purpose. He threw himself into parenting with the same zeal he pursued his myriad other passions.
Don was a true Renaissance man. In addition to teaching, he also studied law but never practiced, and invested in real estate, owning a total of 60 properties across 3 states. He even considered becoming a chicken farmer, and turned down a recruitment by the CIA. His most recently expressed “when I grow up” wishes were to be an archaeologist, bio-engineer, or film special effects artist. His hobbies and talents were nearly as numerous
Don will be remembered for his intelligence, dry wit, insatiable curiosity, and love of learning. as the number of books in his personal library. Photography, drawing, painting, sculpting, pottery, woodworking, carpentry, hiking, camping, rollerblading, playing the flute, keyboard, and harmonica, writing, antique collecting, tie-dyeing, ATV riding, hunting, fishing, skiing, canoeing, and cooking, to name but a few.
Further declines in his health plagued his last few years, but the arrival of his granddaughter, Sylvia, once again brought a new light into his life. There was nothing he treasured more than spending time with that little girl.
Don is survived by his wife Shauna, daughter Susannah Murdock (Cade), granddaughter Sylvia Murdock, brothers Paul Hicken (Kelly) and Val Hicken (Marjann), sister Analee Gravis (Curt), and numerous nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Adrian Hicken.
Funeral services will be held at 11am on Saturday, September 17th, at the Spring Creek 5th Ward church on 860 E 200 N, Springville, Utah. Viewings will also be in Springville, from 6-8 pm Friday, September 16th, at the Wheeler Mortuary, 211 E 200 S, as well as 9:30-10:30 am Saturday at the church prior to the service. Interment will be at the Evergreen Cemetery in Springville.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the organization Research to Prevent Blindness, www.rpbusa.org.
Life Story Info
“In lieu of flowers...”rpbusa.org
Sep 15, 2022
A fun day in San Francisco's China Town
A special brother-in-law whose passing leaves a hole in the hearts of loved ones that will not be filled until a glorious reunion in the future. Blaze the trail there Don so we can follow
This is a wonderful tribute to my brother Don. I'm missing him already.
Analee Gravis (sister)