It is with great sadness in my heart that I announce the passing of Kelby Hicks, 31, who was found dead on fieldwork at Colima volcano, Mexico earlier this week. He died of apparently natural causes, heart failure, and was discovered next to his instrument at his remote field camp on the volcano. Although his life was tragically cut short, we can say that Kelby died doing what he loved.
His passion for volcanology was contagious and only outweighed by his passion for living life. Kelby was the guy who knew how to handle anything that Mother Earth could throw at him. He had an adventurous spirit, a distinct talent for off-road driving, and as a white water river guide for seven years he never flipped his raft. Not even once. In his short life of only 31 years, Kelby accomplished more than most people do in 10 lifetimes. And, along the way, he touched the hearts of many people all over the world.
His work on Colima volcano in Mexico had just taken a turn for the better. After a string of bad luck with volcanic activity, dengue fever, and bad timing, Kelby had just become a part of a research team sent to Colima as part of a NERC urgency grant designed to assess the volcano’s recent awakening of activity. He was keeping us updated regularly through The Volcanofiles and his personal facebook page. Last week, Kelby posted the below photo to his Facebook page with the caption, “Colima volcano on my birthday!”
Kelby was a man of many words and never failed to fill an awkward silence with a funny, outlandish story. He was adventurous, brave, kind, loving, and most of all passionate. Kelby is survived by his loving wife, Anna, his dog, Buddy, and the hundreds of people who he called friends. Kelby, dear brother, we love you and miss you. Although you’ve certainly left your mark, this world will never be the same without you.
If you wish to express your condolences or post memories/photos of Kelby Hicks, please feel free to do so in the comments section of this post and on the facebook page created for him by his wife: https://www.facebook.com/kelbyhickspage.
Services in Memory of Kelby Hicks
From the obituary published here:
On Saturday, April 27, Kelby’s family will be at the farm helping each other through this difficult time. Extended family and close friends are welcome to visit from 4-7 p.m.
For those who wish to stay on, at sunset, to celebrate Kelby’s life, there will be a private memorial at the pond from 7-10 p.m.
Gathering together his diverse and extensive friendship group was so important to him, and we know this is what he would have wanted.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Friends of the Cheat, 119 S. Price St., Suite 206, Kingwood, WV 26537.
In the near future, a scholarship will be established to fund promising geology students.
Arrangements are being handled by Field Funeral Home.
View Larger Map A memorial service for Kelby Hicks will be held at the St. Edmund’s College Chapel in Cambridge at 1:30pm. All are welcome to attend. A memory book for Kelby is currently on his desk in his office and will be available for signing at the memorial service.
Services will be held at:
St Edmund’s College
Friday, April 26th, 1:30pm
After the funeral in West Virginia, a celebration of Kelby’s wonderful life will be held in England, possibly at his home in Brandon. As details arise, we will update this page.
Kelby’s wife Anna asks that all flowers are sent to the Geography Department to be displayed on Kelby’s desk. A memory book for people to sign is also located there, so please drop by or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details. If sending flowers by post, please send to:
University of Cambridge
Dept. of Geography
Attn: Kayla Iacovino
Cambridge CB2 3EN