Pat Hicks was a recent arrival in Spokane, but those who knew her in town remembered Hicks on Tuesday as a devoted partner who had become active in the community even in her retirement.
“She was perpetually positive, just a gentle person,” said Kiantha Duncan, president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP. “She was an extrovert for sure.”
Hicks, 66, moved to Spokane in 2020 to be closer to Sandy Williams, her partner. They were both aboard the plane that crashed Sunday off Whidbey Island in Western Washington. The U.S. Coast Guard said everyone on board died.
Hicks attended Morning Star Baptist Church with Williams, said the Rev. Walter Kendricks, pastor of the house of worship in northwest Spokane.
“She loved Sandy, no doubt about that,” Kendricks said Tuesday.
Hicks’ family said she regularly attended Unity Spiritual Center in Spokane and, when she lived in California, the Namasté Center for Spiritual Living in Long Beach.
Sam Hicks, a brother, told the Seattle Times that Hicks was a retired schoolteacher and was the first in her family to attain a college degree.
Jac Archer, a community activist who worked closely with Williams and later Hicks, said that the California transplant had found a home in Spokane.
“I know that she found her person,” Archer said of Williams, and Hicks “became a community mom to the Black community.”
Duncan said Hicks enjoyed the outdoors, and had purchased a recreational vehicle for trips.
“She was really involved in things that had to do with nature, opportunities to hike, opportunities to support other retired folks, like herself,” Duncan said.
Hicks led an Alcoholics Anonymous group that met at the Carl Maxey Center, staff said, and was active in a drumming group that met at Riverfront Park.
The Coast Guard released the names of the crash victims Tuesday morning. They include the following:
- Jason Winters (the pilot)
- Patricia Hicks
- Sandra Williams
- Lauren Hilty
- Remy Mickel
- Ross Mickel
- Luke Ludwig
- Rebecca Ludwig
- Joanne Mera
- Gabrielle Hanna