2023 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) McMahan, Barnett, Boyd, Branning, Butler (38th), Caughman, Chassaniol, DeBar, England, Hickman, Hopson, Horhn, Jackson, Kirby, McCaughn, McLendon, Michel, Moran, Parker, Sparks, Suber, Thompson, Williams, Simmons (13th)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION MOURNING THE PASSING AND COMMENDING THE LIFE, PUBLIC SERVICE AND COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS OF FORMER STATE SENATOR, CIRCUIT JUDGE AND DECORATED WORLD WAR II VETERAN THOMAS FREDERICK (FRED) WICKER OF PONTOTOC, MISSISSIPPI, AND EXTENDING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE TO HIS SURVIVING FAMILY.
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we learned of the passing of a dedicated public servant and decorated World War II veteran, former State Senator and Circuit Judge Thomas Frederick (Fred) Wicker of Pontotoc and Benton Counties on October 21, 2022, at the age of 98; and
WHEREAS, a native of Hickory Flat in Benton County, Mississippi, he graduated from Hickory Flat High School, where he was President of his Senior Class. He enrolled at Holmes Junior College in September 1941, where he was a member of the football team, remaining in school there until he was drafted into military service in February 1943. Following almost three years of active duty in the Army and Army Air Corps, which included tours in England, France, Belgium and Germany and where he was a Championship Boxer, he was discharged on January 1, 1946, and immediately returned to Holmes Junior College to resume his education, receiving his diploma in May 1946; and
WHEREAS, entering Ole Miss Law School in June 1946, Wicker served as Class President and received his Law Degree in June 1948. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife, Wordna, moved to Pontotoc, where he resided until his death. He was engaged in the general practice of law until September 1970, during which time he served 12 years as County Prosecuting Attorney, eight years as Pontotoc City Attorney and three years as Mississippi State Senator (January 1968 to September 1970) representing the counties of Pontotoc, Union and Benton; and
WHEREAS, as a State Senator, he championed public education and highways. In 1968, he was successful in passing an amendment to make state Highway 15 4-lanes from the Tennessee line to the Gulf Coast. Although the Senate later adjourned without passing the highway bill, he lived to see much of his effort succeed, with the current Highway 15 4-lane phase being constructed in Pontotoc and Union counties; and
WHEREAS, on September 1, 1970, he was appointed Circuit Judge of the First Circuit Court District to fill the unexpired term of Judge N.S. Sweat, Jr. He thereafter was elected to the position five times until his retirement; and
WHEREAS, former State Senator Thomas Frederick (Fred) Wicker of Pontotoc, Mississippi, retired December 31, 1990, following a legal career of more than 42 years, the last 20 of which were spent as Circuit Judge; and
WHEREAS, he was married in June 1948 to the former Wordna Threadgill of Big Creek, Calhoun County, Mississippi, whom he had met at Holmes Junior College. They had two children, Ellen Wicker Cummings and U.S. Senator, Congressman and former State Senator Roger Frederick Wicker of Tupelo, Mississippi, and a foster daughter, Mindy Theile and five grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, Judge Wicker was active in the Pontotoc Rotary Club for 57 years, having served as President. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of American Legion Post 16 in Pontotoc, where he served as Commander, and Chairman for Boys State and Girls State and Coach of the American Legion Baseball Team. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Pontotoc, where he served as Chairman of the Deacons, Sunday School Teacher and a member of two Pastor Search Committees. In 1998, he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by Holmes Community College; and
WHEREAS, in retirement, he continued to be active in his community. He was a member of the Pontotoc County Tale Tellers, an avid hunter and annually served at the Pontotoc Bodock Festival. He continued teaching Sunday School and maintained his role as an active member of the Rotary Club and American Legion. Judge Wicker had perfect attendance at the Grand Reunion held annually in the State Senate; and
WHEREAS, he is survived by three children, Ellen Wicker Cummings (Ned), Roger Frederick Wicker (Gayle), foster daughter Mindy Staten Parrish; grandchildren, Margaret McPhillips (Manning), Caroline Sims (Kirk), McDaniel Wicker (Kellee), Rebecca Cummings and Frederick Cummings (Rebecca); eleven great-grandchildren; brother, Kenneth Wicker (Norma). Fred was preceded in death by his wife and parents, and his brothers and a sister; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the career of this dedicated public servant, whose legacy lives on in the respect of the members of The Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Legislature as a well-known practitioner:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby mourn the passing and commend the life, public service and community contributions of former State Senator, Circuit Judge and decorated World War II Veteran, Thomas F. (Fred) Wicker of Pontotoc, Mississippi, and extend to his surviving family our sincere sympathy on his passing.