Following a long illness, Laurie Hicks died on March 31, 2021, in Placerville, Calif. Laurie was born on May 24, 1951, in Corte Madera and was an almost lifelong Californian. Laurie grew up in El Granada with her parents (Marcel and Alice Gunther) and siblings (Susan, Jeanne and John).
With two full-time working parents and the freedom of growing up in a peaceful rural community in the ‘50s, we “Gunther Kids,” especially Laurie, were raised to be independent and given a lot of latitude to entertain ourselves before the dinner hour. With easy access to the beaches, nearby hills and unincorporated neighborhoods, Laurie enjoyed spending most of her day outdoors. She liked to practice gymnastic flips in the fields, climb trees, build forts and swing from tire swings; she exuded fun and freedom! Laurie was always in her element among the gang of neighborhood kids — boys and girls alike. As we got older, we realized that we had been raised “feral.”
For spending money, Laurie started working at an early age for Ida and Ernie Mangue at their fish-restaurant business in Princeton-by-the-Sea. Her first job was working at the “Crab Stand,” an iconic Coastside fixture, which is where she met her future husband, Ron, who was an avid weekend abalone diver.
Laurie was also a very creative person. She fixed old toys, bicycles and sometimes rigged up an entirely new contraption from remnants lying around. She loved to garden and was an inventive cook and gracious hostess. Laurie also made her own ceramic dishes, took painting and drawing classes, reupholstered furniture, sewed for her family, etc. She was a Maker, as we say today.
Laurie attended the local elementary schools and graduated from Half Moon Bay High School in 1969. She married her “beau” Ronald Hicks in 1969. With some adjustments to work, marriage and raising three stepchildren (Peggy, Jim and Dan Hicks), Laurie enrolled in the College of San Mateo to continue her education.
Over the years, Laurie worked in a number of fields: fish monger/waitress; printing business with her husband; dental lab technician creating teeth/dentures; graphic designer for corporate trade shows.
Laurie and Ron lived in several California towns during their 45 years together, from the coastal towns of Pacifica to Fort Bragg. They ultimately retired in the scenic town of Pollock Pines, about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Laurie is predeceased by husband Ronald Hicks and stepson Jim Hicks; her parents, Marcel and Alice Gunther; her in-laws, Vernon and Lanora Hicks; and her niece Ada Cummings. She is survived by her siblings and their spouses, Susan Cummings (Earle), Jeanne Schapp (Stephen), and John Gunther (Sharon); her stepchildren and their spouses, Peggy Patrick (Gary) and Dan Hicks (Yuriko); four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; four nieces and two nephews; and two great nieces.
A private ceremony is planned at a family cabin in the Sierras this summer.