John Baxter Hickey

John Baxter Hickey

John Baxter Hickey, age 76, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at home at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, May 2, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. To celebrate John’s life, family and friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1425 Iowa Street. Due to COVID-19 concerns, all who attend will be required to wear a face covering, and are asked to please maintain social distancing practices. To honor John’s life, funeral services will be held immediately following the visitation at 4:00 p.m., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, with Deacon Jim Luksetich officiating. Burial will be at a later date following cremation in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, is assisting the family.

John was born on December 19, 1944, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Frank J. and Mary (Baxter) Hickey.

John attended St. Patrick’s Grade School, Wahlert Catholic High School, St. Norbert College, graduated from Loras College, and then earned his Master’s degree at Clarke College. He honorably served his country with the U.S. Army in intelligence during the Vietnam War until his discharge in 1969. Unbeknownst to them when they met as children, John would meet the love of his life, Pamela Goodman. Following a short engagement they were married on May 30, 1970, in Glenview, Illinois. He was employed as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School for 36 years, retiring in 2005. He loved sharing stories about his adventures as a child with his friend “The Monk”. Teaching truly was his passion and John spent his summers teaching disabled adults at ARC. In his free time, John could be found spending time at the Veteran’s Freedom Center, playing cards or shooting pool, or shopping at the Hy-Vee on Locust, where he loved finding a good deal. He had a fondness for sitting by the tracks watching the trains go by. John liked being outside and always took meticulous care of his lawn and fish pond. He also found time to spend out on the river boating and fishing. No doubt, time with his family was always his main priority, and John did his best to never miss any of his grandchildren’s sporting events. He also liked spending time with his 4 legged friend, Daisy the dog, who was always by his side. We are deeply saddened at losing John here on this Earth with us. He was a wonderful husband, dad, “grumpa” and brother, who has taught us countless life lessons. We love you, miss you, and look forward to one day being reunited for all Eternity.

Those left to cherish John’s memory include

his loving wife,
Pamela Hickey, Dubuque, IA;

his children,
Kathleen (John) Mundo, Chicago, IL,
Rosa Hickey, Sacramento, CA,
Erin (Clyde) Kay, Dubuque, IA,
Brendan (Christina) Hickey, St. Louis, MO,
Caitlin (fiancé Dan Ruden) Hickey, Dubuque, IA
and Meghan (Ashley) Hickey, Davenport, IA;

his 12 grandchildren with 1 more due in October,
Isabel, Michael, Caroline, Riley, Cooper, Camdyn, Rowyn, Olivia, Jack, Eloise, Penelope and Blake;

his siblings,
Marien (John) Davis, Dubuque, IA
and Joseph Hickey, Dubuque, IA;

and several nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, William Hickey; and his beloved dog, Bruno.

John’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. R.S. Ramabadron, Dr. Runde, the nurses and staff at Mercy CVU and Hospice of Dubuque, for the outstanding care they provided for John. Also special thanks to his nurse, Kelly Lehnhoff, with whom he shared a special bond.

The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and memorials in John’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. John Hickey Family. Memorials may also be made to the Veteran’s Freedom Center, 2245 Kerper Blvd., #1, Dubuque, Iowa 52001.


View local florists here.


St. Patrick's Catholic Church
1425 Iowa Street, Dubuque, Iowa
May 5th, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Funeral service

St. Patrick's Catholic Church
1425 Iowa Street, Dubuque, Iowa
May 5th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

6 condolences for John Baxter Hickey
  1. Wendy Schickel says:

    So sorry for your loss. My kids had John as a teacher at Lincoln and both loved him and his stories. He was a great man.

  2. Shelly Kalb says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was my teacher at Lincoln for 5th and 6th grade. Definitely made a lasting impression on all he taught. Will always remember the stories he would tell us and his students that would stop by just to see if they were ever old enough to learn by he loved Bolivia.

  3. Steve Radloff says:

    My deepest condolences to the entire family. I was a student of his (developmental ed/health and math classes) in the 70’s at Lincoln as well as a neighbor (the Parkway area neighborhood). I so looked up to him as a young kid and to this day he is still one of my favorite adult role models from my younger years. The monk stories, the sharing of his orders of fries from Jack’s, the neighborhood chats, always a good lesson and a laugh. I haven’t seen him in many years, and every time I drove by your house, I was really hoping to catch him outside for a chat. He left a lasting impression on a lot of us kids/people.

  4. Hazel maury says:

    Marien and family.
    I was so sorry to hear of your brothers passing.
    I recall when your family lived just two doors up from us on laurel street when we were kids.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  5. Amy Breitsprecker says:

    I had John as a teacher in the late 1970’s and treasured him then and still today. As it is Teacher Appreciation Week people often ask if you had a teacher that inspired you? My answer is always John Hickey. I think of him often. My son recently purchased a house across the street from Lincoln Elementary and I gaze up at the window of his classroom and remember that school year fondly. Thank you for sharing him with the hundreds of children he encountered in his lifetime. My sincere condolences.

  6. Richard Dally says:

    John and I were best friends in High School. He would unmistakably be one of the most unique individuals that Wahlert has ever had the privilege of graduating. It was not easy to be a free thinker, a heretic, and a pacifist in 1963. John and I had early doubts about three big things: High School, Religion, and ROTC. But we both made it, probably owing primarily to the devotion of that small woman in the white habit standing in the hallway outside her classroom waiting to see if Hickey and Dally would show up for “Track A” English class. We just called her “Monica.” That was the place where John and I, and many others, learned to enjoy the business of learning. John devoted the rest of his life to that, and for him it was natural joy.

    John and I both majored in Philosophy at the University of Iowa, at different times, owing to different stints of maneuvering around the “Draft Board.” There we each found a place that nourished our mutual interest in learning to think about and discuss things that were actually not capable of ordinary discussion or understandable expression. John was right at home, of course, because he was simply a world-class conversationalist. He practiced his art in some of the finest institutions in Dubuque. The South End Beer Store, owned and operated by his Uncle; The “Q” pool hall on Main; Sut’s Bait Shop on the Mighty Mississippi. But his real “Go To Places” were those classrooms where he professed to nine year olds simply by asking them, “What are you thinking today?”

    I have been gone from Dubuque for many years. I also come back regularly, and I have never missed those visits with John. I will miss him. I will remember him.

    Richard Dally

Leave a Condolence:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *