'Uncle Darrell' Hicks: A man the trucking industry will miss

By Land Line staff | Wednesday, July 11, 2012

OOIDA Life Member Darrell Hicks died peacefully at home in Tulare, CA, Tuesday morning, July 10. Darrell spent almost 50 years involved in the trucking industry. He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, a progressively debilitating lung disease.

Beginning in 1963, he drove commercial trucks hauling recreational boats and engines, returned to college, and continued to drive part time until August 1966. From those days as a trucker to his years with companies like Union Carbide (Prestone) and Nalco Chemical, the man the industry knew affectionately as “Uncle Darrell” was about as involved with the trucking industry as one gets.

He was hired in 1980 by Nalco Chemical Co., in sales and technical service in the heavy truck industry. Engine coolants, additive packages for coolant, cleaners, and allied lines, including fuel additives, were his main responsibility. In 1992, the group became part of the Penray Companies. He retired from Penray in 2007. Since 2007, he owned a consulting firm, Darrell Hicks Enterprises, specializing in engine cooling system technical issues.

He was devoted to OOIDA, The Technology and Maintenance Council, the National Association of Show Trucks, Trucker Buddy and other organizations too numerous to list. He was active in his church and community at his longtime home in Arkansas. In 1996, he founded the Truck Day at the Arkansas School for the Blind, in memory of a blind friend. He wanted the students to “see” truck tractors and refrigerated trailers for a day. 

Darrell is survived by his wife Melva, son Chris, daughter Kirsten and two grandchildren.

Arrangements are being handled by Miller’s Funeral Home in Tulare, CA. 

The family has requested that gifts be given to Trucker Buddy International, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401; or Your Story Hour, P.O. Box 15, Berrien Springs, MI 49103.

Editor’s note:  In Wednesday’s Land Line blog, Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson offers a final tribute to his good friend and longtime colleague.