Thomas Hickman


Mr. Thomas Algernon Hickman, age 87, passed away peacefully in Richmond on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023.  Born in Painter, Tommy was the son of the late Helen Thompson and the late Milton Thomas Hickman.

He was a lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore until he moved to Williamsburg in April 2019 to be closer to his family. He graduated from Central High School in Painter and St. Christopher’s School in Richmond.

Besides managing Hickman Lumber Company in Painter for over four decades, Tommy quietly gave his time to many worthwhile causes in the community.  While he is often remembered as the gentleman behind the hardware and paint counters at Hickman Lumber, he also served as a town councilman and mayor for the Town of Painter, a volunteer fireman for the Painter Volunteer Fire Company, a member of the local advisory board of Crestar Bank and its predecessors, a member and chairman of the Broadwater Academy Board of Directors, a member of Governor John N. Dalton’s Boating Advisory Committee, and a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Painter Flotilla 12-2.

Boating safety and respect of the water were very important to Tommy, and, because of it, he taught boating safety classes in the community for many years. He was a former member of the Exmore Moose Lodge and the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, and was a lifelong member of Belle Haven Presbyterian Church, serving as both deacon and elder until it closed in 2016 following Easter services.

Tommy attended Hampden-Sydney College before entering the Army and serving his country in the United States and the Middle Eastern and North African theaters.  After returning home, he married his high school sweetheart, Dickye Phillips, and together they had two children.

He is survived by his son, Thomas A. Hickman Jr. and his wife, Alice I. Hickman, and his son, Philip T. Hickman and his wife, Susanna B. Hickman. He adored his beloved grandchildren, Helen N. Hickman, P. Hunter Hickman, Thomas A. Hickman III, and E. Campbell Hickman. He was always interested in what was happening in their lives and they brought him great joy and much happiness.

Tommy is also survived by a sister-in-law, Virginia B. Phillips, of Belle Haven, and was predeceased by his wife, Dickye; and a brother, Milton T. Hickman Jr. and his wife, Robin M. Hickman.

The family is eternally grateful for the care and companionship that Mrs. Rosa Griffin and Mrs. Missy Jenkins gave Tommy over the past four years.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, at the Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore with Pastors Joe McKnight and Charlene Harris officiating. In lieu of flowers, please consider making contributions in Tommy’s memory to Broadwater Academy, Attention: Development, P.O. Box 546, Exmore, VA  23350 or to the Painter Volunteer Fire Company, Attention: Mrs. Patricia W. Sturgis, Treasurer, P.O. Box 275, Painter, VA  23420.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore.

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