George Denny Hickman, 83, chairman emeritus of Peco Foods, died March 27, 2024.

Hickman worked in the family business alongside his father, Peco Foods founder John Herman Hickman, eventually being elected as president of Peco Foods in 1987. Hickman would also serve as chairman of Peco Foods, until retiring in 2022. He held active roles with NCC, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association, and Mississippi Poultry Association, including being inducted into both the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Poultry Hall of Fame.

Denny is survived by his wife of over 60 years,  Patricia Ann “Patsy” Bouchillon Hickman; daughter, Staci Hickman Parker (Jim Skinner) of Tuscaloosa; two sons, Mark Anthony Hickman (Ann) and John Denny Hickman, both of Tuscaloosa; brother, Herman Jerome Hickman (Margaret “Peggy”) of Gordo; six grandchildren, Mark Anthony Hickman II (Caroline), John Taylor Hickman (Sage), Sydney Hickman-Sanshu (Patrick), John Austin Parker, Andrew Dean Parker (Jennifer) and Anthony Glen Parker; three great-grandchildren, Ann Fletcher Hickman, Hilliard Elisabeth Hickman and Lillian Claire Hickman and his nieces and nephews, Monica Brown Jones, Phylecia Hickman Krebs, Dayna Daphinelle Hickman, Sescily Hickman Fletcher, and Jonathan Graham Brown.

Denny was born January 15, 1941, in Gordo, Alabama, to the late John Herman Hickman and Willie Travis Blakney Hickman.  He was a member of Gordo First Baptist Church and retired Chairman of the Board of Peco Foods, Inc. Denny built his reputation for speed and innovation at a young age.  A lifelong aviator, he earned his pilot’s license at age 15.  Learning the poultry business alongside his pioneering father, he became president of Peco upon John Herman Hickman’s death in 1983. Denny knew from experience that growing the company was the key to reaching the top corporate tier.  With a trusted team and disciplined work ethic, his strategy was right on target. In his current role as Chairman Emeritus, he kept a keen eye on Peco’s continued trajectory.

Denny and Patsy were at home in any setting: from the West Alabama countryside to global cities, they crisscrossed to grow Peco Foods, Inc.’s corporate footprint. Most importantly, Denny cherished the companionship of his lively family and was the heartbeat of good times that brought loved ones together.

Denny considered a quality education Priority #1.  He was especially proud that the Hickman family has earned 14 degrees from the University of Alabama System – with more in the pipeline to come. The students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the university were grateful beneficiaries of his generous support. Denny’s great-grands always looked forward to every occasion to tumble, run, and cheer the Crimson Tide with their beloved “Gangie and Gran.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the John Herman Hickman Foundation at JHHF Foundation – Peco Foods, Inc.