Augusta Mary Hicks Williams
Sunrise 1941 – Sunset 2020
Augusta Mary Hicks Williams was born February 14, 1941 to the late Rev. Perry and Oleary Hasson Hicks and raised by her loving stepmother Dorothy Hicks in the small town of Ruston, Louisiana. She was the youngest of three and loved the company of her brothers, Henry Hicks of New York and the late Perry Hicks Jr.
As a little girl, Augusta worked along-side her father with his janitorial supply business. As a young adult, she did women’s hair and polished shoes to earn tuition money while in college. It’s funny to know that she went from shining shoes to buying them all as an adult! When she rejoined the workforce as a nurse, Augusta made a difference in the lives of patients that were lucky enough to be in her care, she became their advocate. She has supervised at the Department of Health in Chicago and became a highly acclaimed leader for many hospitals and nursing settings in Massachusetts. Augusta enlisted her power through independence and was able to manifest her drive and impeccable work ethic every step of the way.
Brought up in the church, Augusta knew what it meant to have unwavering faith in the Lord. She always made sure to attend a Sunday service no matter where she was, she fearlessly visited the local churches of her travel destinations. Augusta also spoke in many churches; she was dedicated to educating others on proper health information, especially within African Americans communities. Her church home was First Calvary Baptist Church of Andover, Massachusetts.
Augusta always had a high regard for nursing even in elementary school. After becoming spellbound by the words of Mary McCloud Bethune, “Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible,” she became determined to one day achieve her goal of becoming a registered nurse.
Education was very important in her household; Augusta attended the Lincoln High School where she was a majorette and played the clarinet in the band. Always a proud Lincolnite, Augusta was always a guaranteed attendee to reunite with her classmates for their biannual class reunions.
After graduating high school Augusta wasted no time in heading off to the big city of Chicago to attend Provident Hospital and Nurse’s Training School; she graduated in 1963 and from there she went on to work in the ER at Cook County Hospital. Many who have come to know Augusta will attest to her determination and will to excel and succeed, so it should come as no surprise that within three months Augusta became head nurse. Augusta then decided to continue her education at Govenor’s State University and later on received her master’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1980.
Augusta was a fearless and self-empowered Survivor; she beat cancer on more than one occasion. At the age of 47, her greatest battle was with breast cancer. Always the advocate, early detection, the support of her family and friends, and a call to then First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan, to ensure she received a hospital bed at the top cancer treatment hospital in the nation, Augusta beat cancer for the second time. Having persisted this critical turning point, the experience allowed her to discover her voice for advocacy, she became an unstoppable supporter for those battling cancer.
In her book, “Older Than My Mother,” Augusta triumphed in helping to spread awareness and share her experience with the world. She was later published in the June 1989 edition of Ebony magazine. Her son Byron was so proud of his mother that he always carried a copy. Augusta also served on the board of the American Cancer Society of New England.
She had many hobbies that kept her busy, she loved to dance, travel, she shopped til she’d drop, she was an amazing baker and party planner. Her love of baking started back in Louisville, Kentucky where she had a baking business with her friend, Wilma. Her lovely rum cakes, pound cakes, brownies and millionaire pies are gifts that have truly been missed. Augusta also loved music, especially the tunes of her husband Frederick, whom would play a personal concert for her anywhere they were.
Augusta had a big heart and was doted upon by her loving husband Frederick Williams. From her previous marriage to Victor Berry, Augusta had her only child Byron Berry whom she loved endlessly and took him everywhere she went as he was growing up. Augusta was all about her family and friends, so she made sure to keep in contact with everyone on a regular basis. The avid traveler, Augusta completed many cross-country road trips with her brother Henry to California, cross country train rides and international cruises with her husband Frederick. The lovely ladies Emma, Delores, Gladys and Virgina whom are dear to her heart has been on many adventures with her as well.
Augusta was called home on May 17, 2020 at the age of 79. She leaves to mourn her loving and supportive husband Frederick Williams Sr. of Boston, Massachusetts, her grandson Noah Berry and granddaughter Alana Berry, of Arizona, her brother Henry Hicks, sister-in-law, Ann Hicks, nephew Keith Hicks, niece, Annette Hicks-Bryant, all of Long Island, New York and goddaughter Shamika Rucker, of Boston, Massachusetts. Along with a host of numerous cousins, family, and loving friends. Augusta was preceded in death by her father, Rev. Perry Hicks, mother, Oleary Hasson, stepmother, Dorothy Hicks, brother Perry Hicks Jr., and son Byron Berry.
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