E. Phillip Hickman Jr.


Mr. Edward Phillip Hickman Jr., of Horntown, died Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Born July 28, 1952, to E. Phillip Sr. and Lina Tarr Hickman, he was also raised by his second mother, Mary Louise Carey Hickman.

He was a member of Horntown Methodist Church and graduated from Atlantic High School in 1970. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in Blacksburg.

He attended Virginia Tech from 1971 to 1974 and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture economics.

Phil formed a partnership with his brother, David, in 1973, known as Dublin Farms.

The Dublin Farm brand of potatoes became well known on the East Coast as their farming operation grew.

Other memberships of his include the Local Potato and Vegetable Growers Association; a gubernatorial appointment as a member of the State Seed Potato Board (18 years, serving as chairman for 5 years); the Accomack Committee for the USDA Farm Service Agency; Broadwater Academy Board of Trustees; the Pocomoke City Elks (as a trustee, and member for 46 years); the Accomack County Planning Commission (21 years, including as chairman); and the National Potato Board now trading as Potatoes USA (two terms of 6 years each).

During his time with Potatoes USA, he served on the Marketing Committee and Administrative Council for nine years, one of which as chairman.

He worked tirelessly with these groups to preserve the Eastern Shore for his grandchildren and their children.

He retired in September 2022 as president of Dublin Farms Inc. and assumed a consulting role to the farm.

An avid Hokie football fan, he took it to the extreme with his maroon pickup, orange Sailfish boat named “The Hokie High,” and his tailgate van.

Phil and his wife of 52 years, Sandy, traveled with friends and potato colleagues to various states promoting potatoes and relaxing in tropical climates.

He was known for his hearty laugh, big grin, and his business expertise. Like his father and grandfather before him, he did not know the word “lazy.”

He leaves behind his wife, one son, Phillip, and wife Michelle; their children, Logan and Elana; his brother John, and wife Kristy; their children, Carey (Luke) and Charles, and great-grandson Theo; his sister, Ann Schulmeyer and her son, Max; his brother, David and wife Chessie; their children Matt (Tara), Lee (Kim), Mark (Nikki), and all their children.

A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, at the Pocomoke Elks Lodge on 1944 Worcester Highway. Visitation is at 1 p.m. and the service is at 2 p.m. with fellowship to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Signpost United Methodist Church, c/o Judy Elliott, 35028 Signpost Road, New Church, VA 23415; Virginia Tech, VT Foundation, Annual Fund 881012, 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061; or Broadwater Academy, P.O. Box 546, Exmore, VA 23350.

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