Val D. Hickman

October 23, 1925 - March 10, 2021

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Val D. Hickman of Silsbee, Texas.  He passed peacefully in the company of his family on Monday, March 10, 2021.

Val was born on October 23, 1925, in Hortense, Texas and grew up in Polk County. He attended high school in Leggett and then immediately joined the military.  He proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II and was selected for the V-12 program. He was also an American Legion member for many years.

Val was educated at Millsaps College in Mississippi as well as Tulane University in Louisiana. He was employed in the lumber industry in Southeast Texas, which inspired him to build a sawmill/kiln dryer in Village Mills which he operated for years until a fire disrupted the operation in 1957.  Being wise beyond his education in many ways, he started another venture that proved to be the focal point of the rest of his career by entering the field of real estate, land development, and home construction business in Silsbee in 1958. Val constructed numerous quality homes and sold real estate for more than sixty years.  He developed multiple subdivisions in the Hardin County area along with lake developments on Toledo Bend Lake, Lake Livingston, and Lake Chambers in Corsicana. He was past President of the Silsbee Optimist Club, Hardin County Real Estate Board, Silsbee Home Builders Association, and active in various other community affairs.

When Val was not working hard (which wasn’t very often) some of the things he enjoyed most was water skiing, socializing and dancing, eating watermelon, clearing land with his bulldozer, spending time with family and friends, and sitting outside in his lawn chair reading the newspaper and listening to the birds singing and the whistle of the train as it passed by.

Val has left lasting impressions on many by making the most out of every single day with his exuberant energy, good natured demeanor, unfailing work ethic, his willingness to help others, his lively sense of humor and entertaining storytelling, his amazing ability to calculate complicated math figures without a calculator, and his kind and humble way of life. 

Val showed determination and hard work and was successful in making his bucket list of dreams into reality.  He was kind and generous and always greeted everyone with a warm smile, gentle hug, and a firm handshake along the way.  He will be greatly missed.

Val is preceded in death by his parents, Nathaniel Hickman and Dovie Harrell Hickman of Leggett, Texas, and brothers, Rufus Hickman and his wife, Louise, of Leggett; Leroy Hickman and his wife, Jean, of Houston; Dempsey Hickman and his wife, Vivian, of Livingston; and Jimmie Hickman and his wife, Billie Jean, of Leggett.

Val had Texas roots, but it was a California girl he met in Texas who first stole his heart, and he is survived by their five children. Sons, Mitch Hickman and his wife, Lilly, of Snyder; Mark Hickman and his partner, John Reyes, of Houston; and Milan Hickman and his wife, Kay, of Silsbee; daughters, Valinda Hickman of Silsbee and Laurie Reid and her husband, Steve, of Houston; three grandchildren, Gemma and Fraser Reid of Scotland, UK and Liz Guo of Boston, MA and one great-grandchild, Casey Cruse of Scotland, UK.  He is also survived by his sister, Doris Harris (late husband, Edwin) of El Paso. Val also leaves behind friends and loved ones too numerous to list but not forgotten.

The Hickman family would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the attentive caregiving received from Mrs. Luz Cordero, Mrs. Lois Jenkins, Mrs. Tina Young-Holman, Visiting Angels, and Hospice Plus. Their personal dedication is held dearly in our hearts.

A gathering of Mr. Hickman’s family and friends will be 12:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m., Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee.  His graveside service will follow at 2:00 p.m., at R.S. Farmer Cemetery, Silsbee, under the direction of Broussard’s.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking to please pay it forward and be kind to someone. Find the good, just as Val did every day in life.  All acts of kindness will be appreciated in loving memory of Val’s kindhearted generosity.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Corona Virus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:



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R.S. Farmer Cemetery

R.S. Farmer Cemetery
  • silsbee silsbee tx 77656

Graveside Service

Graveside Service
  • South 3rd Street, Silsbee, Texas 77656
  • 03/14/2021
  • 2:00 pm

Gathering of Family and Friends

Gathering of Family and Friends
  • 490 cemetery road silsbee tx 77656
  • 03/14/2021
  • 1:13 am

Broussard's Mortuary - Silsbee, TX

Broussard's Mortuary - Silsbee, TX
  • 490 cemetery road silsbee tx 77656

Comments (1)

    Lisa Cavazos says:

    Val, our father, Joe Weeks loved you very much. We did too. We remember many times spent with you. Linda and the armadillos. We’ll always remember you and your family. Love, Lisa Weeks Csvazos

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Rhett Cody

What a polite gentleman that Val was, and yes Knowledgeable about many things. RIP Mr. Hickman.

Jack Langston

I met Mr. Hickman in early 50's in Village mills. My Granddad operated the Humble station across the Hwy. Now that Hwy runs right through his saw mill. I thank about those days often as I live here now. I was less then 12 years old, Everyone knew Val Hickman. RIP Sir, from a kid that admired you. I'm thanking they made post at the mill.

Richard Tomlinson

You never ceased to amaze me. I enjoyed your friendship very much. Thank you, Val.

Bonita Massingill

Val was one of the sweetest men I knew, inside and out! A group of buddies always got together for Super Bowls every year, they enjoyed doing there things. My husband C.J. Massingill was one of the buddies that truly enjoyed Val and had him at our home several times , One of the smartest people that I knew, could remember everything and was a great story teller. We will miss you Val , but you will now be with all your buddies!!!

Den &Vikki May

I love Mr Hickman he was always super friendly he will be missed by all who knew him he was very unforgettable ❤️

Ron & Peggy Sterling Scarborough/Georgetown, TX

Val had the best work ethic, loved his children dearly, & adored his beautiful wife. Wherever one saw him in town, he always had a smile & kind word. We are sad for those left behind, but can’t you imagine his first breath in Heaven?

Clare Keown-Cammack

Praying God grants you all peace & comfort in the days ahead. Val was a kind & wise man. Who won’t soon be forgotten..

Paula Smith

To Mitch, Milan, Valinda, Laurie and Mark: My heart is saddened by the loss of your father. I lift you all up and ask our Lord to be with you at this difficult time. Sending His love.

sheri fugitt

RIP Val we loved ya to the moon and back..... Alway's a kind heart and smile and loved our dancing togather fly high Val

Jimmy McKim

Val was one in a million and was a customer and friend to my family (and myself ) since he moved to our area. He and his family have made Hardin County a better place. to live. I will always remember that friendship and his great optimistic attitude. RIP Val.

Tony Wofford

Mitch we are sorry to hear about your dad. I remember just a few weeks ago you sharing about some of his life. God gave you an amazing dad. We mourn with you in your lost but we're be praying for you all as you gather to celebrate your his wonderful life. Good bless you and the family.

Tracy Curtice

Sorry for your loss and prayers for the family.

Felicia Payne

Dear Mitch, I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Prayers to you and your family.

Kenneth and Isabel Davis

We are so sorry for your loss, Mr Hickman he is going to be miss for many people . He was a very nice person helping everyone no matter what .. my husband and I , we are going to miss Him. But in the Bible is a wonderful promise John 5:28,29. Is the wonderful promise of the resurrection.. Jehovah God as promise .. so sorry . Ken and Isabel Davis

Rosemary Gonzales

To the Hickman Family - May God comfort and guide you in your sorrow. My sincere condolences. God Bless each of you.

Rosemary Gonzales

May God comfort and guide you in your sorrow. My sincere condolences. God Bless each of you.

Mary Ann Moore Ester

When we moved to Silsbee in 1970, Val found us a house to live in when houses were scarce (booming Silsbee!) And it was right next door to the new one you all moved into. Your mother and dad were our best friends, and my children had so much fun growing up next door to all of you kids. You know that your mother was my best friend for all those years and the fun we had together. I'll never forget Val inviting a bunch of us over to your house for breakast after a night at the Country Club. He scrambled eggs so hard they were balls rolling around; and he put the whole loaf of bread (plastic and all) in the oven to make toast. We all agreed to get him cooking lessons after that. I also remember everytime he saw anyone on the street (which he knew everyone) he would not only ask how we personally were doing but name all the family and ask about them too. And of course the 'BIG' move of his office to its present location--pictures and articles in the Bee about that. I could go on and on. Your family gatherings were also a super fun time. You had great parents that everyone loved. He will be sorely missed. My prayers are with all of you. Love Mary Ann

Cindy Hon McMahon of Hortense

Val and ALL the Hickmans have been friends of my family forever. I know he will be sorely missed!

Cathy Williams

Val was a very sweet man who I remember as a child he always called us “Sugar”. My dad always talked very highly of him and spoke of what a smart hard working man he was. Prayers to the family, Catherine Gieseke Williams.