Since the heart-rending death of Tammy Raye Hicks on June 30, her family has been overwhelmed with support from the community.
At a press conference Friday morning, Tammy Hicks’ father, brother, sister-in-law and cousin spoke about the care, assistance and support they’ve received since Hicks was slain, allegedly by her estranged husband.
“It’s been an example of people that have given tirelessly and endlessly, every day from the time we get started to late into the evening,” said Brian Nelson, Hicks’ brother. “It brings me to tears just to think about the number of folks that love Tammy and love the kids and are here to help.”
Kevin Dean Hicks, 52, is accused of killing Tammy Hicks, then burning her body in a fire he ignited at his home.
Kevin Hicks made his initial appearance Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of murder, first-degree arson and abuse of a corpse. He is in custody without bail and is set to appear in court again Tuesday.
Tammy Hicks’ death left four children — Dean, 16; Elizabeth, 14; Megan, 13; and Jacob, 10 — without parents.
“It was one person’s decision that has uprooted so many lives, and messed up so many people, that we have to get counseling, we have to be together,” said Ralph Nelson, Tammy Hicks’ father. “But that’s what’s important to us: that the children are safe, that they are taken care of, that their needs are being met as much as we can.”
The oldest of three children herself, Tammy Hicks was described by her family as a wonderful mother and friend, and a “fixture in the heart of this community.” Her children will remain in the family and live with grandparents, Ralph Nelson said.
To provide the same level of care to her children that Tammy Hicks’ did, the family is continuing to ask for community support.
The family is holding a four-day estate sale to help raise funds. Items for sale include home décor and goods, kitchen gadgets and supplies and arts and crafts materials.
The sale will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8 and 14-15, at 12213 Table Rock Road, Central Point.
Caring for her children is the best way the family hopes to continue Tammy Hicks’ legacy, said her cousin Cody Nelson.
“We want to be able to keep up-to-date clothes on them, we want them to be able to have them continue in 4-H, we want to be able to continue to have them eat well, we want to be able to just let them thrive,” he said. “And the outreach has been tremendous, but we still have a long way to go.”
The family also has an ongoing GoFundMe page to raise money, which will go directly to support Tammy Hicks’ children. Friday afternoon, the fund had reached $23,611 from 256 donations.
Amid a time of heavy grief, family members said they are continuing to move forward together.
“This is a really tragic, unfortunate, horrific thing for a child to have to work through, and at the same time, (the children) have faith and hope,” said Brian Nelson. “And they have a community of faith and hope that is surrounding them and continuing to remind them that there is a moving forward, there is a grieving of this and, at the same time, there is a hope and a future for them.”
Tammy Hicks’ memorial will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Harvest Baptist Temple, 2001 S. Columbus Ave., Medford.