Susan Hickok, first Charlotte campus employee, former associate VP, dies

CHARLOTTE, NC (April 14, 2021) – Susan Grubbs Hickok, the first employee of Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte, North Carolina, campus and former Associate Vice President for Advancement, died April 3 at home with family. She was 70-years-old. A virtual memorial service was held April 11 at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. This service can be viewed on the Covenant website.

Born June 25, 1950, in Charlotte, Susan was the daughter of Dwight Gilmer and Louise Cress Grubbs. Susan was a graduate of Harding High School, where she met her husband Alan, beginning a beautiful partnership that would last over 50 years. She earned a BA in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later a degree in interior design from Central Piedmont Community College.

Mrs. Hickok was a lifetime member and Elder Emerita of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Susan co-founded the Stephen Ministry program at Covenant, providing care and counsel to those in need, and led the program for a decade. Music was central to Susan’s life. She joined the Covenant choir at age 14 and sang alongside her mother, beautiful soprano voices in tandem, for over five decades. Susan would climb the steeple bell tower at Covenant for many years to play the carillon. Mrs. Hickok was an accomplished seamstress, with prom dresses, her wedding dress, and her daughters’ smocked Easter dresses among her many creations. Susan utilized this talent as the costume designer at Covenant for the Madrigal Singers, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and children’s musicals. Mrs. Hickok was active in Presbyterian Church life beyond Covenant. She was the Executive Coordinator for the 210th General Assembly in Charlotte in 1998, and was responsible for raising the money for the founding and endowment of the seminary’s Charlotte campus. Mrs. Hickok retired from the seminary as associate vice president.

“We praise God for Susan’s tremendous contribution to Union Presbyterian Seminary,” Vice President for Advancement Richard Wong, said. “She was instrumental in Charlotte campus development from birth. She was faithful to the mission of theological education. We are saddened by her passing.”