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Grandpa

Posted on May 18th, 2008 after 16766 miles by Dean Croshere.

I went to my Grandfather's funeral yesterday.

Archie, J Hicks Jr. Newspaper Printing Pioneer, Entrepreneur passed away on May 4, 2008

"I'll be right up," Archie told his kids. But he had a difficult time leaving his work to be on time for dinner. We nicknamed him 'I'll be right up,' says his daughter Anne. Archie loved his work, his employees, being involved in the pressroom, running and building a business his way. Archie thrived on being out in front and finding a way to make it work, even if it was risky. He worked hard and invested himself completely in his vision.

Archie was a gifted "builder." He loved to visualize and create a solution be it mechanical or process and doing whatever it took to achieve success. He enjoyed working closely with his staff. They were more than employees, they were his second family.

A pioneer in the newspaper industry, Archie was not satisfied with just publishing a newspaper, so he developed a small commercial printing side of the business using offset printing technology. As a result of his knowledge of offset printing, he was approached by the Goss Company, the largest manufacturer of newspaper presses in the world, and offered an opportunity to partner with them to revolutionize newspaper printing technology. A classic entrepreneur, Archie saw the potential to be a leader in the industry. Then the largest producer of typesetting equipment in the world, Mergenthaler Linotype came on board to work with Archie to develop the first electronic typesetting for newspapers. A gutsy move for a small town operator. Archie had to develop a commercial printing business to support this expensive move and he did. Archie made it work. The little weekly Encinitas Coast Dispatch newspaper became a model for the future in the mid 1950's. Publishers visited his plant from around the world---India, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, South America, Jamaica, and Africa and of course from all over the USA. The technology was complex and so, even with translators, a lot of head scratching and hand gestures ensued. 25 years later, all the major newspapers in the world converted to the technology that Archie Hicks helped pioneer. The US State Department called Archie in 1979 and asked him to go to El Salvador and the Philippines to assist them in converting to the new technology. Continuing his leadership in the industry, in 1966 Archie rose in the ranks to become President of the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the major trade association for the state's newspaper industry. Attending his inauguration were then-Governor Ronald Reagan and Billy Graham. While President of CNPA he sailed on an atomic submarine, the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier and sat in the pilot's seat of a PTV-5F early warning plane during a flight on the DEW line over Alaska.

During the 1970's Archie also developed business models and processes that saved the U.S. government and many of the State's University school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Archie was a third-generation graduate of the University of Southern California. His involvement with USC didn't stop with his graduation. He was an avid USC Football fan indoctrinating is children at an early age into the USC tradition attending games and being on campus. After his kids graduated from USC, Archie increased his involvement and served on the Board of Governors of the School of Journalism at USC. He lived for USC football and attended every game he could.

Archie was active in community affairs, especially in Carlsbad, where he lived from 1977 to 1987. He served as President of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce in 1982 and worked with Bob Nielson as Co-Chair of the Carlsbad Downtown Merchants Association. Archie loved to be active, create and build. He designed and built trains, furniture, homes, and his business. He enjoyed the ocean, fishing, riding horseback, playing golf and tennis and was an avid reader of mysteries. He loved people -- his family, his friends, his special poker buddies and people he interacted with in his daily life. His wife Terry remembers him as a very gracious man who loved telling stories and making people laugh. Archie also enjoyed elegant gourmet dining especially if an orchestra played big band dance music. Archie loved to dance the Lindy and the shag.

Archie was born October 15, 1917 in Long Beach, California. As a young child he grew up in Palmdale, Tehachapi, Arcadia and then Encinitas where his family owned the local newspapers. The Hicks family bought the Encinitas Coast Dispatch in Oct. 29, 1929 and moved to Encinitas. At the time, Archie was in sixth grade at Encinitas Central School. There were three boys and seven girls in his class. There was no high school in Encinitas in the early 1930's so Archie and his classmates, Tom and Bob Cozens and Jack Harrington attended Oceanside High School. He played football and swam for Oceanside High as well as participating as a thespian in school plays.

Archie was an excellent swimmer, competing for Oceanside High and for the Del Mar Plunge team and he worked as a lifeguard at Del Mar. He earned a full-ride water polo scholarship to USC. Following his family heritage, in 1940 he was the third generation in his family to graduate from USC with a degree in Business. At USC he belonged to Phi Sigma Kappa social fraternity and Skull and Dagger honorary society. In October 1940 Archie married Faye Moore. In 1941, immediately after Pearl Harbor, Archie enlisted in the Navy, attended Columbia University Officer Candidate School and entered the war as a lieutenant bound for the South Pacific as a skipper of a "sub-chaser."

After WWII Archie returned to Encinitas to enter the family newspaper business and start his family.

During the 1960's Archie expanded his newspaper group by purchasing the Del Mar Surfcomber and Rancho Santa Fe Times. In the 1970's he purchased the Carlsbad Journal and began publishing Civilian Enterprise Military Newspapers. During the late 1960's his son Bob and daughter Anne graduated from USC, continuing the tradition. Bob joined him in the business in 1968, running the newspapers while Archie branched out to develop new commercial printing opportunities. The family newspapers were all perpetual state award-winning publications.

In 1985 Archie married Terry Buescher on a cable car in San Francisco, eventually settling on an Avocado ranch in Fallbrook. He retired in the late 1970's and continued with his latest commercial printing enterprise, typesetting college publications until his death.

Archie and Terry very much enjoyed traveling and visited China, New Zealand, Australia, New Orleans, Fiji, Hawaii, and Hong Kong and spending time on their Fallbrook ranch with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife Terry, son Bob (and wife Cathy), daughter Anne (and husband Dave), stepdaughters Linda (and husband Mike) and Tracy (and husband Michael); grandchildren Summer, Skot, Hunter, Dean, Richard, Mary, Danielle, Mikey, Scott and Deanna; and great grandchild Skylar.

A one hour audio track from the funeral can be found by clicking here.

Click the "watch this Episode" link below to watch an upbeat slideshow showing images from his life.

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Grandpa
Carlsbad, CA
Central Ala- 'Bama
The middle of the state.
Heaven on a Bun?
Next to the CdA lake
Driving in Idaho
Just south of Coeur d' Alene