Donald J. Hickey, 72, of Brielle, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 1, 2019, surrounded by his family.
Mr. Hickey was born and raised in Plainfield, NJ. He lived in South Plainfield for 34 years before moving to Brielle 12 years ago. After graduating from Plainfield High School, he enlisted in the Navy, in which he served from 1965-1969. A highlight of his Naval service was assisting in the Apollo 9 mission when his aircraft carrier USS Guadalcanal operated as the recovery ship that picked up the Apollo 9 astronauts near the Bahamas upon their return from space. As a Dental Technician, Don was part of the medical crew aboard the USS Guadalcanal that evaluated and tended to the health of the astronauts upon completion of their mission.
Don graduated from the Naval Dental Technician’s school in San Diego, CA and later attended Middlesex County College and Old Dominion College in Norfolk, VA. He founded Hickey Dental Laboratory which he owned and operated for more than 20 years. Later, he was Director of Marketing for Delta Dental for 20 years, before retiring in 2011.
Don was active in the community throughout his life including volunteering at the Plainfield Rescue Squad for 10 years where he was also captain of the cadets, and serving as the President of the South Plainfield High School Music Boosters for 10 years.
Don enjoyed spending time at the Jersey Shore on the beaches of Lavallette, Long Beach Island and Spring Lake. He also enjoyed music, playing his guitar and traveling. Most of all, he loved being with his wife, his kids, his grandchildren and his large extended family and doing everything together. Not a day went by without his contagious smile and laughter lighting up someone’s day.
Mr. Hickey was predeceased by his parents, John J. and Dorothy (McCue) Hickey, as well as by three of his siblings, John J. Hickey III, Dorothy P. Hickey and Joan M. Mallon. He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Beverly (Blackburn), and their daughters, Jennifer Serpi and her husband Joseph of Matawan, Laura Takacs and her husband Lou of Monroe, and Erin Hickey of Hoboken. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Amanda and Emma Serpi, and Ryan, Matthew and Shannon Takacs, and three sisters, Elizabeth Higgins, Patricia Kaczor and her husband Fred, and Barbara Pender as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will take place at O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy. 35, Wall, on Thursday, August 8th from 4-8:30 PM. The funeral Mass will be held at the Church of St. Denis, Manasquan, on Friday, August 9th at 10 AM. Entombment will follow in St. Anne Cemetery, Wall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org or https://bit.ly/2T70xBA).
Condolences may be sent via www.obrienfuneralhome.com.