Henry Curtis Vickers, 97, died March 27th at his home in Newcastle. He was born June 2, 1924 at home on the family farm near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. He attended schools in Frazee, Minnesota where he majored in football, according to his memories. During school and after, he worked on the family farm near Frazee.
In 1944 Hank enlisted in the Navy. He worked stateside, crossing the continental U.S. five times before being assigned to the USS Witek, a Gearing-class destroyer. He learned to fly during his time in the service, his first career choice. After his discharge he continued to take flying lessons and work in airports. However, he was denied a commercial license due to his eyesight and had to move on to other career choices.
Hank worked in North Dakota for several years, then moved to the Newcastle area in 1950. He drove a fuel liner to the airbase near Rapid City for several years, then the Coop bulk truck for four years. He enjoyed getting acquainted with people on his route and made a number of life-long friends. He started with Plains Pipelines in 1960 and worked there until his retirement in 1990.
In 1951 he married Carol Moore and they made their home in Newcastle. In 1952 he bought the land and started working on the home where he has lived since, almost 70 years. Connie, Wayne and Gale were born over the next four years.
In 1976, he married loving wife, Alice Nickolaisen Cox and welcomed her son, Earl, 10 years old, into their lives. Hank and Alice would have had their 46th wedding anniversary in June.
Hank was driven to build and repair mechanical things. He built several small tractors, a dune buggy, half a dozen homebuilt airplanes and ultralights. He could - and did repair anything that had or needed a motor.
After his retirement, he took an interest in tractor pulls, and rebuilt a John Deere to compete in the local pulls, starting with Sturgis in ’03. He and Bob King excelled and both earned a number of trophies. Hank flew his homebuilt planes until his late 80s. After that he gave more attention to his garden, a real project.
He is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Clarice and Mary, and his stepson Earl. He is survived by his older sister Catherine (now 100!), brother Alan, wife Alice, children Connie [Gary] Anderson, Wayne [Eileen] Vickers of Newcastle, Gale [Leonard] Geringer of Cheyenne, ten grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.
Interment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 2 at Greenwood Cemetery, Newcastle. The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Newcastle, with a lunch to follow. Henry's family invites you to join them with the following link if you cannot attend the services.
Memorial contributions may be made to Alley Cat Rescue of Newcastle, WY.