Murel Hicks, Oliver Springs

Murel Hicks, 76, a resident of Oliver Springs passed away peacefully in his home on April 7, 2023. He was born on January 25, 1947, in Oliver Springs.

Murel spent his life caring for others. While that help took many forms, more often than not his help came in the form of food. Known simply as “The Strawberry Man” to many, Murel spent many years delivering produce and flowers to people across Roane, Anderson, and other surrounding counties. While many knew him and thanked him, countless others unknowingly benefited from his passion for fresh produce at both local restaurants – like The Soup Kitchen – and even their own dinner table.

The credit was never necessary, the thought of someone enjoying a good meal thanks to him was more than enough. Although, the extra spending money never hurt. You know, “Just in case”.

In addition to his love of food, Murel had a love and appreciation for animals – something he shared with his late daughter, Renea. Over the course of his life he cared for many animals – such as his dogs, Ralph and Rusty – but none more spoiled than the many, many goats that spent their life on the farm.

Murel spent a combined 32 years working at K-25 and Y-12 and also spent time with Breezy Wynn and Modine Manufacturing. He also spent countless Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Oliver Springs and Oak Ridge flea markets visiting with friends, meeting new people, or looking for a deal on something he didn’t need – or as he referred to it, “working”.

He was preceded in death by his daughter: Leslie Renea Stringfield; his parents: John Urick and Laura Keeton Hicks of Oliver Springs; and his sister: Helen Joyce Cooley.

Murel is survived by his wife: Dot Hicks; his grandson: Bradley Stringfield; his siblings and their spouses: Hollis and Judy Hicks, Marsha and Jack Whaley, Janice and Ronnie Henley all of Oliver Springs; his sisters-in-law Sue Rodgers of Kingston, Ann Brock of Georgia, Kay Heart of South Carolina; his nieces and nephews: Stewart Hicks, Krista Whaley, Jason Henley, Nicholas Henley, William “Bill” Long.

A special thank you to Beverly Ruff and Hillary Davis for their excellent care, love, and friendship over the last few years.

The family will host a receiving of friends on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m. at Premier Sharp Funeral Home in Oliver Springs. The burial and graveside service will be held Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Jonesville Cemetery with Dustin Bonham officiating.

Premier Sharp Funeral Home is proud to be serving the Hicks family.

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