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Douglas Hickling

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Douglas Hickling Obituary
Douglas H. Hickling

Douglas H. Hickling of Piedmont, CA, died Tuesday March 4, 2014, at age 81, after living with cancer for 15 years.  Doug was born in Eden, NY, on May 20, 1932, to the late Emerson and Muriel Hickling, Canadian immigrants, and grew up in rural upstate NY.  He attended the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he graduated first in the class of 1954 and served as Cadet Lieutenant Colonel in the ROTC.  He completed a tour of duty as Second Lieutenant in the US Army 516th Field Artillery Battery stationed in W. Germany, where he led the only searchlight unit remaining in post-war Europe.


Returning to the US in October 1956, Doug attended Harvard Law School.  During this time, he developed ankylosing spondylitis, for which he was hospitalized for significant lengths of time, but persevered through law school, graduating in 1959.  Having been impressed by the setting of the movie, Vertigo, Doug moved to SFO immediately after classes ended.


Doug spent the remainder of his life in the Bay Area.  He met Madeleine Henning, whom he married in 1965, at The Lodge guesthouse.  Having passed the CA Bar Exam, he worked first in private practice and then for nearly 30 years in the Alameda County Counsel's Office, where he retired as Chief Deputy County Counsel.  


Doug will be remembered for his passionate interests in libraries and research, genealogy, carpentry, photography, automatic musical instruments, and running; as well as for his dry wit.  His survival through bouts of aggressive prostate and pancreatic cancers is a testament to the determination and persistance with which he approached many challenges throughout his life.  


Doug is survived by his wife Madeleine of Piedmont, daughter Anne Hickling (Tom Rodriguez)  of Phoenix, AZ, son Will Hickling of Piedmont, and grandchildren Luke and Julian Rodriguez.  Doug also is survived by brothers Nelson and Harley Hickling and sister Doris Kopf.  He was preceded in death by sisters Phyllis Carine and infant Lois Hickling.


A memorial service will be held Wed. March 19, 2 p.m., with reception following, at Chapel of the Chimes, Oakland.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Oakland Public Library.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 14 to Mar. 16, 2014
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