Professor Robert Hickson, R.I.P.

Our community’s old friend, Professor Robert Hickson, Ph.D., has gone to his reward. He died at his family home in Front Royal, Virginia, on the evening of September 2 at 9:29 p.m. — a first Saturday — having received the last rites of Holy Mother Church and wearing his brown scapular. There were three Catholic priests at his deathbed that day, and numerous Catholic friends and family members were praying at his bedside all through the day. Robert was 80 years old.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Robert Hickson combined in one extraordinary lifetime the eclectic vocations of soldier, scholar, teacher, author, historian, philosopher, classicist, literary critic, strategist, Special Forces officer, and defense intelligence expert.

His interests spanned the gamut; a short list would include geopolitics, military ethics, the defense of the family and the unborn, classical Greek and Latin literature, metaphysics, the theology of grace, and the messages of Our Lady of Fátima. His many admiring readers and students — including alumni of Christendom College, where he was a founding faculty member — were edified by his Catholic vision of reality and his grand strategic view of cultural and political issues that was fundamentally Christian. He introduced many to the writings of Hilaire Belloc and Josef Pieper (whom he called “my mentor,” having personally known the great German philosopher and learning much from him). Robert’s devotion to these diverse thinkers was as contagious as it was deep.

Robert Hickson was a patriot, a profound thinker, a gifted educator, a brilliant and insightful writer, a loyal servant of his country, and a Christian gentleman. He was a faithful husband, a loving father, and a fervent, pious, and devout traditional Catholic. He will be sorely missed by his friends and family.

(Please consult the author page on this site for more biographical and professional details.)

Those of us who learned from Robert are profoundly grateful for the many ways he enriched our lives, and are edified to learn of the many graces that surrounded Robert and his family on the occasion of his passing into eternity — which has all the marks of a good and holy death, in spite of the violent convulsions he suffered from congestive heart failure.

Please pray for the repose of his soul, and for the consolation of his family.

Our condolences to Robert’s dear wife Maike, and to their children Isabella Maria and Robert Richard, on the occasion of their grievous loss.

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen. Anima eius et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

“It is therefore, a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from sins.” (2 Maccabees 12:46)

(I am indebted to our friend Joe Doyle for most of the contents of this brief memorial. I have simply adapted the advisory he sent out to the mailing list of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.)