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Irene Hickey
A memorial service was held Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church in Modesto for Irene Hickey, 89, of Modesto. The former Ceres resident died peacefully July 14, 2010 at Bethel Assisted Living in Modesto.

Born July 11, 1921 in Ceres to Ella and William McCreery, Irene grew up here. She graduated from Ceres High School in 1939. While at Ceres High she met the love of her life, Paul Hickey, while acting in drama productions at Ceres High. She continued her education at Modesto Junior College and San Jose State until she married Paul in 1941. She accompanied her husband to Louisiana when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. Irene returned to Ceres when Paul was called for oversees duty. Their daughter, Victoria, was born in June, 1943. Paul was killed in March, 1944, when his plane, a B-17, 'Flying Fortress' was shot down over Germany. Mrs. Hickey worked for the state of California for 30 years, mostly for the Department of Motor Vehicles. While there, she lobbied her congressmen for equal rights for women to hold positions of management, such as being a manager of an office or allowing women to administer driving examinations. In 1966 she became one of the first women to be qualified to give driving tests. She loved to knit and was a loving grandmother. She enjoyed family trips and celebrations.

She leaves behind her daughter, Vickie Higginbotham; two grandsons, Brad Higginbotham and Brian Higginbotham; and two great-grandchildren, Max Higginbotham and Haley Higginbotham.

Remembrances may be sent to Stanislaus County Music Educators Association (SCMEA), 1521 Lenox Drive, Modesto CA 95350; or to the First United Methodist Church, 16th and I Street, Modesto CA 95354; or to a charity of your choice.

-Ceres Courier/ July 21, 2010