Every year the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Chairman, Dr. Michael Magill, accompanied by department faculty and staff members, holiday carol to Mrs. Margarete (Maggie) Hicken, of the Dr. Nymphus Frederick Hicken, Alta Thomas Hicken, and Margarete Stahl Wilken Hicken Endowed Chair in Family and Preventive Medicine. This year, once again, was another delightful event for all. On December 21, at dusk, the carolers “magically” appeared on Maggie’s doorstep, dressed in warm winter apparel with accompanying old fashion candle lanterns, musical instruments, and caroling books. After listening to a few songs, Maggie always invites the guests into her warm home and continues to listen, and often time, sing-along with the carolers. Of German decent, Maggie is always thrilled when Dr. Joseph Stanford sings a solo in her native language. Always moved by this solo and the memories it creates, Maggie instinctively sings along in German with Dr. Stanford . It’s a tearful, heart-warming moment for all to enjoy. At age 105, Maggie is the oldest-living, former member of the LDS Tabernacle Choir, and the visiting carolers are always honored to have her lovely and clear voice join their choir.
The “Hicken” endowed chair was established in the Fall of 2000, through a generous gift from the Hicken family, combined with internal and external funds. Dr. Hicken worked closely with Utah’s rural family medicine doctors who referred their patients to him for their surgical care. The establishment of the chair will ensure that Dr. Hicken’s compassionate medical care that was an example to all that were associated with him, will continue into future generations. The chair is named in honor of Dr. “Nif” Hicken and his two wives; Alta, his first wife of 65 years, and Maggie, his second wife, who is still living and taking care of their home that the Hicken’s bequeathed to the University of Utah as part of the endowment.
By Tina Waters
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine