Robert R. "Bob" Hickenbottom, 80, a long-time Sunnyside resident and businessman passed away Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007, in Yakima. Bob was born Aug. 28, 1927 in Yakima to Elmer and Veda (Copeland) Hickenbottom.

He spent most of his life in the Yakima Valley. Bob's grandparents were pioneer families of the Yakima Valley. Aaron and Nellie Hickenbottom bought a ranch on Cheyne road near Zillah in 1892, cleared it of sagebrush and raised crops on it the first year there was water in the Sunnyside canal.

Eli and Loa Copeland (Veda's parents) bought and moved to a ranch on Forsell road near Grandview in 1907. Bob's parents lived in the Zillah and Outlook areas before moving to Sunnyside in 1939 to start a new produce business.

Bob went to school in Outlook, Zillah and Sunnyside, where he played both football and basketball, graduating with the class of 1945. In August of 1945 he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was discharged in April of 1948, and subsequently joined his parents in the produce business.

On Oct. 10, 1948, Bob and Maxine Hansen were united in marriage in Edmonds and have resided in Sunnyside since that time.

Bob attended Yakima Business College and graduated with a Business Administration degree in 1950. In January of 1951, he and Maxine formed a business partnership with his parents. It was called Elmer Hickenbottom and Son. In 1967, they purchased Bob's parents share of the business and in 1971 changed the name to Hickenbottom and Sons, Inc.

Bob belonged to the United Methodist Church. He served on the Administrative Board, and the finance and staff parish committees. He was active on the committee for Boy Scout Troop #634 which was sponsored by the United Methodist Church. Bob served on both the Apricot and Peach Marketing Order committees and belonged to the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association. He also served on the state of Washington Inspection Advisory Committee.

Bob received the "Friend of the Industry Award" in 1997-98 from the Washington and Oregon Asparagus Growers Association.

He enjoyed walking, traveling and attending sporting events.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Maxine Hickenbottom of Sunnyside; three sons, Jerry Hickenbottom (Lois) of Sunnyside, Eugene Mark Hickenbottom of Palo Alto, Calif. and David Hickenbottom (Carla) of Mt. Vernon; three grandsons, Shane Hickenbottom (Jennifer) of Colville, Aaron Hickenbottom and Chad Hickenbottom, both of Seattle; one great-granddaughter, Querina Gabriella Hickenbottom; two sisters, Kay Paulson of Olympia and Joyce Shinn of Sunnyside; three nephews and nieces, and their families.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Viewing and visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, from 1 to 8 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 4, 2007, from 9 a.m. to noon at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Memorial funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to honor Bob's memory may contribute to the United Methodist Church, Heart Fund or the Arthritis Foundation.

Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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