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Billy G. Hicks

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Billy G. Hicks Obituary
Billy Gene Hicks, one of the foremost American moving target shooters in the world, passed away Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at the age of 89. He was the son of the late Leslie Wattson Hicks and Margaret F. Hall, of Central City, Ky. Billy typically shot near perfect scores at competitions around the country, and quickly became noticed by the Marine Corps International Shooting Team, with a moving target knock down ratio of 98.8%. By 1962, he had accumulated more than 48 career wins in shooting. He won the praise of the Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1964, when he came in third at the World Skeet Shooting Championships in Reno, Nev. In 1966 Billy realized a dream, by qualifying for and being selected to join the four-man U.S. Marine Corps International Shooting Team in Wiesbaden, Germany. Billy and his four-man team secured the gold medal in Olympic Trap that year, with him knocking down an amazing 288x300 targets straight. He returned again in 1967, this time in Italy representing the United States to bring home the silver medal. On May 18, 1968, in Thurmont, Md., Billy G. Hicks became the first American shooter (verified by the NRA) to score a perfect 200x200 targets straight in Olympic Trap. He was awarded the International Distinguished Shooters Badge (No. 100), the highest award given to professional shooters in the United States. His other awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, China Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal. Billy joined Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier in 1971, as the shooting instructor there. He made tremendous improvements to the existing facilities on arrival, and designed and built new ones including the Duck Tower and Live Bird Range. In 1981 Billy again stunned the shooting world in Guadalajara, Mexico, competing with and beating more than 600 of the best moving target shooters from all over the world. In just over two days, he beat all but Italy's Carlo Geogretti, placing second in the world at the age of 54. Billy returned to Rolling Rock Club and started a children's shooting clinic, where he taught hundreds if not thousands of children how to shoot trap and skeet. His last gift to the club was the Olympic Trap range. This was a symbolic and enduring gift that represented the great sport he came to love so much. Billy was an avid outdoorsman, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, shooting, golf, woodworking, gardening and landscaping. His brother, Winston, preceded him in death. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Barbara; his two sisters, Lottie Wilcox and Ruth Sheets; his daughters, Lisa Gilbert, Melanie Bingham, Susan Jackson, Sharon Holland and Shannon Brannon; and his sons, Bill Hicks and Leslie Hicks. He has 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, at First Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Va., with the Rev. Maren Sonstegard-Spray officiating. A reception will immediately follow the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike No. 420, Rockville, MD 20850, or via their website at https://donate.fisherhouse.org. Please view obituaries and tribute wall at www.ompsfuneralhome.com.
Published in Greensburg Tribune Review on Oct. 11, 2016
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