Franklin Keith Hicks

Franklin Keith Hicks, 64 of Sugar Grove, N.C., died on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Watauga Medical Center from complication of acute kidney failure after a brief illness.

Born March 20, 1957 in Watauga County, he was the son of the late Elmo and Pauline Vines Hicks. Keith was a long time member of Boone United Methodist Church. He was also a member of the NC Locksmith Association and Girl Scouts of the USA. He recently retired from Appalachian State University after 26 years of service.

Keith loved his family, especially his grandchildren. They were the light of his life. He was a talented carpenter and mechanic that could build or repair almost anything. He loved his animals, Beach trips, long walks with his wife and good BBQ. He had a quiet but strong faith and was a Godly man. As Keith would have said, “It was a Life” and a good one.

He is survived by his wife, Katherine W. Hicks, two sisters, Judy Branch of Zephyrhills, FL and Marilyn LaPorte of Spooner, WI, children, Ronnie Hicks of Boone, Beth Rhodes and husband Jeremy of Vilas, NC, Sara Whitney of Sugar Grove, NC and Christina Whitney of Sugar Grove, NC, grandchildren, Hailey Dills and husband Brad of Hampton, TN; Lana Natusch of Sugar Grove, NC; Gunner and Archer Rhodes of Vilas, NC, Honorary daughters, Chika Watanabe, Aya Horikoshi and Anastasia Shagdaron

Nieces and Nephew – Terri Anne Darby and husband Ted of Creedmoor, NC; Andy Branch and special friend Greg of Chicago, IL; Kristen Brenenstall and husband Jimmy of Spooner, WI; Katherine LaPorte, of Spooner, WI; aunts & uncles – Shirley Johnson of Sugar Grove, NC; John “Pete” Vines and wife Jean of Christiansburg, VA; Nancy Glenn and husband Gale of Sugar Grove, N.C.; several great nieces, nephews and multiple cousins.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a daughter, April Hicks.

Celebration of life will be held at a later date. The family respectfully requests no food or flowers.

Donations in his honor can be made to the Watauga Humane Society, PO Box 1835, Boone, NC 28607 or to the Valle Crucis Park, PO Box 581, Valle Crucis, NC 28691 or Boone United Methodist Church Women’s Education Fund, 471 New Market Boulevard, Boone, NC 28607.

Online condolences may be shared with the Hicks family at

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Hicks family.

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