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1931 Gil 2023

Gilbert "Gil" Ronald Hickenbottom

October 24, 1931 — November 18, 2023

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Gilbert "Gil" Ronald Hickenbottom, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 18, 2023, in Temple, Texas. He was known for his unwavering faith, military service, love for reading, and his dedication to helping others. Gil leaves behind a legacy of resilience and kindness that will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to know him. Funeral services will take place on Monday, December 18, 2023, at Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Belton at 1 pm. Following the service, Gil will be laid to rest with military honors at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen at 3 pm.

Born on October 24, 1931, to Ronald and Opal Hickenbottom in Kansas City, Kansas, Gil grew up with a strong sense of duty and dedication instilled in him from an early age. After completing his education, he answered the call to serve his country and joined the United States Army. Rising through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel, Gil became a decorated combat veteran with an outstanding military career that spanned the Korean War and the Vietnam War. During his time in the military, Gil exhibited incredible bravery as a fixed and rotary wing pilot. His exceptional skill and strength of character earned him numerous accolades, including the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. Despite facing life-threatening challenges throughout his service, he miraculously survived three crash landings, one of which involved landing his plane upside down on the unforgiving Alaskan Tundra. These near-death experiences only strengthened his resolve and taught him valuable lessons about life's fragility.

After retiring from the military with honor and distinction, Gil found success in management at New York Life Insurance Company and pursuing his entrepreneurial dream by owning a sandwich shop. Beyond his professional achievements, Gil was devoted to his faith as a dedicated servant of Jesus Christ. A morning routine that consisted of reading his Bible while savoring a cup of coffee became a cherished ritual for him. Gil's love for God extended beyond his personal devotion; he actively supported various ministries, including Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and contributed to those in need in Israel. In his leisure time, Gil found solace in listening to The Gaither Band Homecoming Album, finding comfort and joy in the uplifting melodies of gospel music. He had a green thumb and spent countless hours tending to his yard and garden. Gil also had a love for adventure and embraced R.V. traveling and camping to explore the wonders of nature. An avid reader, Gil indulged in a wide variety of literature. Military history captivated his attention, fueling his insatiable thirst for knowledge about past conflicts. Western novels allowed him to immerse himself in tales of courage, while Christian faith books provided spiritual nourishment.

Gil is preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Joy Hickenbottom; sister, Orilla Dean Hickenbottom; and son, Rick Hickenbottom.

Those left to honor his memory and carry on his legacy are his wife, Billie Jean Hickenbottom; sons, Ronald Hickenbottom, and Marvin D. Kizer; daughter, Jolene K. McClendon and husband, Kevin; 3 grandchildren, Jamie N. Walker, Joey A. Walker, and Rhonda F. McAdow; and 8 great grandchildren, Hannah R. South, Maxwell J. McAdow, Alice G. McAdow, Van H. McAdow, Lily N. Walker, Abby L. Walker, Ava L. Walker, and Eden Walker.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Christians United for Israel.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Kenny and Cam, Baylor Scott & White nurses (4th Floor STC), the caring staff at Canyon Creek Memory Care, Nurse Heather Van at Stoney Brook, and to Rick Lasly.

A time of visitation will be held on Friday, December 15, 2023, from 5-7 pm, at the funeral home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gilbert "Gil" Ronald Hickenbottom, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 15, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Harper-Talasek Funeral Homes - Belton

503 N Main St, Belton, TX 76513

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, December 18, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Harper-Talasek Funeral Homes - Belton

503 N Main St, Belton, TX 76513

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Monday, December 18, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery

11463 TX-195, Killeen, TX 76542

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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