HICKLE, Harry Vernon, “Bucky”, age 83, a lifelong resident of Irwin, passed away Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at home surrounded by his family. He was born an only child to Vernon and Mae Hickle on August 25, 1936. Harry graduated from North Huntingdon High School in 1954 where he played football, basketball and baseball and received a Bachelor of Science from West Virginia Wesleyan University in 1958. He was a physical education teacher first at Norwin Junior High School and then at Norwin Senior High School where he made a number of lifelong friendships and made famous his memorable social dance class. He was a fierce competitor, both as a coach and an athlete, and he relished bringing the best out of his students, athletes and his children. As Norwin’s Track and Field Head Coach for 17 years, he led the Knights to a 120-21 overall record in dual meets and also led the Knights to victory at the 1977 WPIAL Championships. The Knights were also the PIAA runners-up that season, and Coach Hickle was named the Western Pennsylvania Track Council Coach of the Year. Under Hickle’s leadership, the Knights also won four Westmoreland County championships, and they were WPIAL runners-up in 1988. His team’s rivalry with Hempfield, where his children attended, led to many spirited conversations at the dining room table. He retired in 1996 after 38 years of teaching. Hickle was inducted into the Norwin Hall of Fame on October 13, 2013 in honor of his coaching successes.
In their 58 years together, he and his wife Ruby shared a great appreciation of music, especially jazz and country, and they enjoyed going to hear live music in the South Side. Harry loved spending time with their children, going for coffee, and exercising at the local fitness centers. He enjoyed running into friends and former students around town, and he was a favorite at get-togethers because of his enthusiastic storytelling, often leaving his audience and himself with tearful laughter. Hickle followed his favorite sports teams with fervor, including the Steelers and Pirates, and he was an equally fervent fan of The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame which indisputably earned him “subway alumnus” status. In retirement, he enjoyed visiting his grandchildren who loved spending time with their dear Pap. He looked forward to rounds of golf with friends, monthly Norwin teacher luncheons as well as his West Virginia Wesleyan alumni outings. He is survived by Ruby, their four children, Barbara (Hurrell), Dr. Patrick, David and Dan and their six grandchildren Collin Hurrell, Mark Hurrell, Leslie Ahern, Troy Hurrell, Jessica Hickle and Kathryn Hickle. He was a cancer survivor and fought through a lung removal in 2005, beating long odds, but he ultimately succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia. He donated his body to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. There will not be a funeral due to the global pandemic. No flowers are necessary.
To send flowers to Harry's family, please visit our floral store.