Janet Hickman
1940 - 2020
Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services - Worthington
6699 North High Street
Worthington, OH
Hickman, Janet
1940 - 2020
Janet Hope Hickman, 79, of Columbus, passed away on April 30, 2020 from complications related to Parkinson's. She was born on July 8, 1940 in Kilbourne to Bernard and Pauline (Williams) Gephart. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband John D. Hickman and brother Donald (Duff) Gephart. Janet was an author, educator and mentor. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.S. in 1960, an M.A. in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1979. Her life's work was teaching others and learning herself how to use children's literature to enrich the lives and learning of children and young adults. She wrote seven books for young adults, including three that were Ohio-based historical fiction, one fantasy novel and three novels about growing up in small town Ohio, including the award winning Jericho, which won an Ohioana Book Award and was a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book in 1995. She taught gifted eighth graders in Whitehall from 1961-1964, was a part time children's literature instructor from 1968-1973 and a member of the faculty of the College of Education and Human Ecology from 1979-2005. She taught and mentored many librarians, elementary educators and graduate students during that time (and was mentored by Charlotte Huck, a cherished friend, colleague, text book co-author and neighbor in whose honor she spearheaded the foundation of a children's literature chair at O.S.U.). For many years she organized a children's literature conference in Columbus, bringing together educators and authors. She was also actively involved in raising her children and grandchildren, volunteering with their schools, baking cookies (almost 50 years of snickerdoodles on the first day of school for some family member somewhere), drinking wine and scotch (especially while indexing text books), enjoying long walks and Ohio State sports (especially with her husband John). Janet will be greatly missed by her children, John (Woody) Hickman (Melissa), Holly H. Heer, Matthew B. Gephart (Angela); and grandchildren, Susanna, Alexander, Ellie, John (Nat), Everly and Sadie. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, a private memorial service will be held. Arrangements entrusted to the SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 North High Street. To share memories or condolences with the family please go to www.schoedinger.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations in Janet's memory to the Parkinson's Foundation or the Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Fund at the Ohio State University (302885).
Published by The Columbus Dispatch from May 3 to May 9, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
Private Service
Funeral services provided by:
Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services - Worthington
Sponsored by The Columbus Dispatch.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

11 Entries
I am so sorry to hear about Janet Hickman's passing. I was one of the "gifted eighth graders" she taught at Rosemore Junior High school in 1961. Along with most (if not all) of our class members that year, I absolutely loved her. She stands out in my memory as one of the best teachers I've ever had in my life. I can still remember her reading to our class from the works of James Thurber. She was so expressive and funny! I was part of a group of six girls who all really loved her. I remember that she took our group to Town and Country Shopping Center in Whitehall, to decorate some store windows for either Halloween or Christmas. We all had such a fun time together! She had a lot of very creative teaching methods; we often divided into groups to do such things as put on a play, or create a presentation. I loved her very much and have thought about her often throughout the years. Again, I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. I'm sure she was loved my many other classes of students, as well. I am so sorry to hear of her passing.
Judy Conrad
May 13, 2021
Janet was my mother's first cousin. My sister and I served as junior hostesses at her wedding. She was an inspiration to me throughout my own "education in education" and mentored my love of children's literature.
Mary Anne Sheets Slattery
February 7, 2021
Janet was my grandmother's cousin. Janet came to visit a few times while I visited my grandparents in the summer. My grandmother, Rebecca Sheets, was so proud of Janet and bought her books. I remember fondly reading Thunder Pup. I have a couple of her books set aside for my children to grow in and hope to have a copy of all of her books. Janet was a creative and selfless soul who touched so many lives. My deepest condolences.
Sarah Maxwell
February 4, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear about Janet's passing. I was fortunate to have Janet as my advisor when I was working on my PhD. She was absolutely brilliant. She was always willing to listen and provide support and humor when we met. I will always remember how we had to meet at the table outside of her office because she had so many books in her office there was no place to sit. I am grateful that I have so many memories of my time working with Janet. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Please know that she was so special to so many!
Matthew Zbaracki
August 6, 2020
Miss the family especially Hazel, Geppy, Pauline, Jannie. And, Jannie, you taught me to do jigsaw puzzles to organize my thoughts. Thanks. Lv Connie
July 2, 2020
I regret that I did not know Janet personally, but I now work in the college from which she retired (I arrived in 2006, after she retired) and I admire her work. I am sorry to know she died of Parkinson's as my husband recently died from it too. My heart goes out to the family. Please accept my sympathy.
Janet Ciccone
May 18, 2020
I enjoyed Janet's company at Cover to Cover. She almost always brought a warm smile with her. Janet gave so much to so many. Karen
May 11, 2020
I am so sad to hear about Janet's death. She was such an instrumental influence during my doctoral program at OSU. Working with her during the children's literature conferences was a fantastic experience each year. I will always be grateful for Janet's patience, guidance, expertise and humor. My condolences to the family.
Carol Lynch
May 9, 2020
I'm sorry for your loss. Woody and Missy - We love you guys Ray and Alicia LeMasters
Alicia LeMasters
May 5, 2020
I was saddened to hear of Janet's passing. I taught with her at Rosemore Junior High many years ago. She was a creative teacher, devoted to her students who loved her. My sympathy and prayers to her family and friends.
Joanne Kitchen
May 3, 2020
I was saddened to learn of Janet's passing. I taught with her many years ago at Rosemore. She was a devoted, creative, loved teacher. My prayers and sympathy to her family.
Joanne Kitchen
May 3, 2020
Showing 1 - 11 of 11 results