TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Robert Lee Hicks

1946 - January 18, 2023

Robert (Bob) Lee Hicks, a kind and gentle man, 76, died Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids Michigan.

Bob was born in Columbus, Ohio, the second of 4 children born to Mary Schneider Hicks and Robert Wilson Hicks.

Bob was first and foremost a trumpet player. Early in his trumpet playing career, he became one of very few freshmen to be accepted into the Ohio State Marching Band, "the best damn band in the land." After attending Ohio State, Bob met Shelley Burnes, his wife and companion of over 50 years. They moved to Traverse City where Bob began teaching trumpet lessons and working for several music stores over the years. Bob played in many bands and musical groups over the years including The Americana Brass, Dave Sporny Big Band, The Traverse Symphony Orchestra where he was principal trumpet for many years in his 40 years there, Luther Gravy and the Soul Biscuits, The 45th Parallel Big Band, Reef Petroleum Big Band, The Backroom Gang and most recently, the NMC Concert Band. Bob played frequently at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse, he and Shelley's chosen spiritual home.

Bob and Shelley had one child, Loren Michael Burnes-Hicks, who lives and works in China. Bob was immensely proud of Loren, who was such a help at the end of Bob's long struggle with heart disease. Upon the birth of Loren, Bob and Shelley joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Traverse City where Shelley remains in the comfort of that beloved community.

Bob and Shelley owned and operated the Bookie Joint in Traverse City for 24 years, a proudly liberal and welcoming place for all.

Bob and Shelley enjoyed visiting all parts of beautiful Michigan, especially the U.P. They gardened, remodeled every inch of their home, and enjoyed weekly Mahjong gatherings with their dear friends.

Bob is survived by his wife, Shelley, son, Loren, sisters Mary Citino and Betsy Steele and many loving sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. His dear sister Barbara passed some years ago, as did his parents.

A service of remembrance and music will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse at 6726 Center Road, at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 25. Reverend Alex Jensen will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted for the UUCGT music program. The NMC Concert Band will dedicate their upcoming concert to Bob the night before, February 24.

Bob was a member of the marching band from 1964 through 1968. He played Trumpet in B-Row and C-Row.