Recently-deceased mom becoming a celebrity after her kids' publish stunningly clever obituary

This article originally appeared on 02.11.19.


It's said that everyone dies twice. The first is your physical death, the second is the last time anyone utters your name.

Sybil Marie Hicks, from Baysville, Ontario, died on February 2, at the age of 81, but it'll be a long time before her name is forgotten. Her children have turned her into a posthumous celebrity after writing a hilarious first-person obituary for her that was published in The Hamilton Spectator on February 5, 2019.


According to her daughter, it was fitting tribute.

"Mom was never boring," Hicks' daughter, Barb Drummond, told Yahoo Lifestyle. "Mom lived large. She would do anything for anyone. It was rare for Mom not to have a smile on her face. Mom was always ready for a laugh."

The obituary begins with a shot at her husband, Ron. "It hurts me to admit it, but I, Mrs. Ron Hicks from Baysville, have passed away," they wrote. "I leave behind my loving husband, Ron Hicks, whom I often affectionately referred to as a 'Horse's Ass.'"

She then goes on to roast her own children.

"I also left behind my children whom I tolerated over the years; Bob (with Carol) my oldest son and also my favourite. Brian (with Ginette) who was the Oreo cookie favourite, Brenda AKA 'Hazel' who would run to clean the bathrooms when she heard company was coming," they continued. "Barbara (with Gordon) the ever Miss Perfect and finally Baby Bruce who wouldn't eat homemade turkey soup because he didn't want to be alert looking for bones while he ate."

The piece ends with a great zinger and a bit of a mystery: "I finally have the smoking hot body I have always wanted… having been cremated. Please come say goodbye and celebrate my wonderful life with my husband and his special friend Dorothy who is now lovingly taking care of my horse's ass."

Did her husband have a side piece or are they talking about the dog?

The viral obituary has done more than just spread a few much needed laughs across the world, it's helped the family heal after Hicks' long battle with Alzheimer's disease. The disorder may have stolen Hicks' quick wit sharp tongue; but, in a way, the obituary, has given voice to a woman who was long silenced.

"We just thought that when she passed, we really didn't want to have this sort of boilerplate template obituary," Brian Hicks, the second eldest of Hick's five children, told the CBC.

"We wanted to do something that kind of celebrated who she was and to give us an opportunity to basically have one last conversation with her, and have some laughs at the same time," he said.

The Hicks family hopes that those who are moved by their mother's story will consider donating to their local Alzheimer's charity.

Read the entire obituary at The Hamilton Spectator.

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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

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Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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