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May 29, 1942 ~ September 23, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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ANDOVER - Paul Hickman, 81, of Andover, MA passed away peacefully on September 23, 2023, after a very short battle with lung cancer.
Paul was born in Flushing, New York on May 29, 1942, to Herman Charles Hickman and Eleanor (Smigelski) Hickman and grew up in Glendale, New York. He graduated in 1959 from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, in 1963 from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics, and in 1978 from Long Island University with a Master of Science degree in Physics and Education.
Paul began his career in engineering, working on the construction of NASA’s lunar module at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation on Long Island. He was proud to say that his name is somewhere on the surface of the moon! But Paul soon realized that teaching was his true calling. Paul taught physics and earth science at Cold Spring Harbor High School on Long Island and taught physics at Belmont High School in Belmont, MA before becoming Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Science and Math Education at Northeastern University.
In 1985, Paul was selected by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) to become a Physics Teaching Resource Agent (PTRA). Over the next two decades he developed science curriculum and lead teacher training workshops, spending many summers working with teachers at San Diego State University and Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. From Hayes, KS to Anchorage, AK, Paul traveled the country each summer running workshops for teachers. His work earned him several awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the Tandy Technology Scholars Award, the MAST Science Educator of the Year, the American Association of Physics Teachers Award for Excellence in Pre-College Teaching, and many others. He served on numerous national boards and committees, reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation, developed national standards in physics education and gave talks and conducted workshops around the world.
While at an AAPT meeting in San Francisco, Paul attended a talk by a young physics teacher from Massachusetts named Jennifer Bond. The couple met again in Bozeman, MT when Paul attended a workshop run by Jennifer. Back on the east coast, the couple dated long distance, taking turns making the drive between Andover and Long Island each weekend. Paul and Jennifer married in 1988 and for the next 34 years were inseparable. The two traveled the world conducting workshops for teachers and participating in national and international physics conferences. When they retired, they started their own business, Kittredge Candles, selling fragranced items at local farmers markets and craft shows. All the customers knew Paul as the tall guy with the big, gray mustache.
When he wasn’t teaching or chatting with customers, Paul enjoyed staying connected to his former students, colleagues, and family on Facebook. He loved a good game of golf, cheered for the Red Sox even though he was a New Yorker, enjoyed singing barbershop with his brothers, adored his daughter and granddaughter, made the best homemade chili and chicken noodle soup, and loved to put the top down on his 2018 Buick Cascada convertible. In recent years Paul spent countless hours helping to care for his father-in-law who was in declining health. Paul gave selflessly and generously, never expecting anything in return. He rose at dawn to feed the cats and rarely came home from the grocery store without a bouquet of flowers.
Paul is survived by his wife of 34 years, Jennifer Bond Hickman of Andover, MA, his daughter Kristen Hickman Hufford of Spotsylvania, VA, his brother Gerard Hickman and wife Kathy of Attleboro, MA, his sister Frances Hickman of Newtown, CT, his brother Peter Hickman and wife Marjorie of Arlington, VA, several nieces, nephews, and cousins, and lots of cats. He is predeceased by his parents and his granddaughter, Margaret Hanover.
Burial will be private at Spring Grove Cemetery in Andover, MA with a memorial service to be held on a later date. Donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the American Association of Physics Teachers PTRA Continuation Fund at www.aapt.org under Donate or mail to PTRA Continuation Fund, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740 or to Lawrence General Hospital at www.lawrencegeneral.org/donate or mail to Lawrence General Hospital, Attn: Development Office, 1 General Street, P.O. Box 189, Lawrence, MA 01842. Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. For guestbook, visit www.driscollcares.com