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Jane Hickam Grizzell

October 1, 1924 ~ September 16, 2018 (age 93)

Jane Hickam Grizzell, a long time resident of Evansville, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 16th. She was 93.

She was born in Bloomington, Indiana on October 1st, 1924 to Willis and Ruth Elliott Hickam. 

After graduating from high school in Spencer, Indiana, Jane attended DePauw University, graduating in 1945. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and voted May Queen by the student body her senior year.  While at DePauw, she met returning WW II veteran Joel Emery Grizzell of Chicago, who was to become her loving husband of 63 years. They married in 1947 and moved to Saint Louis where Joel completed dental school.  After his graduation, they chose to settle in Evansville and it became their lifelong home.  He preceded her in death in 2010. 

A dedicated patron of area organizations, Jane was involved with the restoration of the Schnee Ribeyre Elliott House in Historic New Harmony and was a lifetime member of the University of Southern Indiana/New Harmony Board of Directors. She served on the DePauw University Alumni Board of Directors, and was also a board member of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and the Evansville Christian Home. Jane was a member of the Evansville Country Club, Junior League of Evansville, the Kennel Club, and the Evansville P.E.O.- Chapter BJ.

Jane’s family was her life. The unconditional love she gave to all members of her immediate and extended family was a source of incredible encouragement, with a beautiful spirit of generosity and joy.  Her warm and welcoming personality made her circle of friends ever widening. She was a strong and supportive friend who could bring light and love into every circumstance. 

With the roots of her family deeply planted in Indiana, Jane cherished those roots and was dedicated to strengthening them. Her maternal Great-Great-Great Grandfather, James Elliott, arrived in New Harmony with the Robert Owen Society in 1824. Her maternal Grandfather, Elmer Ellsworth Elliott, donated the core of land for Harmonie State Park in 1965. Her paternal Grandfather, Willis Hickam, Sr.,  founded the Hickam & Hickam law practice in Spencer in 1878. Her father, Willis, was president of the Board of Trustees at Indiana University from 1959 to 1966 and was also an attorney at the family's Spencer law office, along with her brother Elliott Hickam.  Her paternal Uncle, Hubert Hickam,  co-founded Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer and Boyd, now Barnes and Thornburg law firm in Indianapolis, in 1939. Her paternal Uncle was aviation pioneer Horace Meek Hickam, for whom Hickam Air Force Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is named.

She is survived by three children;  Suzanne Grizzell Guerra of Denver, John Hickam Grizzell of Saint Louis, and Betsy Grizzell Hopkins of Evansville; and three grandchildren, Sara Ruth Thorpe of Paris, France,  Natalie Hopkins of Chicago and Benjamin Hopkins of Denver.

Jane chose to donate her body to Indiana University School of Medicine's Anatomical Education Program.

The family would like to thank her long-term, loving caregivers, with special acknowledgement to the devotion of Denise Poelhuis, and the staff of both Primrose and Deaconess VNA Hospice.

A celebration of Jane's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 1, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 5501 Washington Ave., Evansville, IN, with the Rev. Dr. Dennis R. Davenport officiating.  Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 30, at Boone Funeral Home, 5330 Washington Ave., Evansville, IN.

Memorial donations in memory of Jane can be made to the Schnee Ribeyre Elliott House in New Harmony in care of the USI Foundation, 8600 University Boulevard Evansville, IN 47712; the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, 401 S.E. Sixth Street, Suite 105, Evansville, IN 47713; and Eastminster Presbyterian Church.

Condolences may be made to the family online at    

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