HOUSTON, TX – Willie S. Hickman, who served in numerous capacities in the Texas/ Louisiana racing industry, passed away in Houston on March 15. He had been hospitalized with pneumonia and died at the age of 64.
Born in Red Rock, Texas, Hickman was involved in many roles in the racing community, from training racehorses to serving in a variety of duties in the Sam Houston Race Park racing office for over 20 years. As stall superintendent, jockey room coordinator and most recently, stakes coordinator, Hickman had lasting relationships with horsemen in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. He also did an excellent job as jockey agent to rider Alfonso Lujan. One of the most successful Quarter Horse jockeys in the region for 11 years, Lujan won over 2,100 races prior to his retirement in 2018.
“Willie was a valued member of the Sam Houston racing office and was well-respected by our horsemen,” said James Leatherman, Racing Secretary. “We appreciate his many years of service and extend our deepest condolences to his family.”
Veteran horseman Lewis “Tooter” Jordan has known Hickman for six decades.
“I galloped horses for Willie’s dad and have known him since he was a baby,” said Jordan. “Willie excelled in everything he did and worked very well with the horsemen. I remember that when he was the stall superintendent at Sam Houston, he walked the barn area every morning at 6:00 am, checking with each trainer to make sure they had what they needed. We will miss him a great deal.”
He is survived by his daughter, Cheyenne Hickman; brother, Jimbo Hickman; niece and nephew, Chelsea and Justin; aunt, Betty Davis; and numerous cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Earl and Mattie Ruth Hickman; and his daughter, Savannah Hickman.
Services for Willie will be held on Monday, March 21, 2022, at 2 PM at Johnson and Robison Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Mimosa Pines Cemetery in Carlyss. The family will receive friends on Monday at the funeral home from 10 AM until the time of service.