CARMEL, N.Y. – Muriel Edith (nee Helwig) Hicks, the mother of Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, died at the age of 76, surrounded by her family at Putnam Hospital Center on Tuesday night, Aug. 4. She was a Somers resident, who was formerly of Carmel and a Yonkers native.
“My mother was an amazing woman who will always be with us.” said Odell. “My sisters and I are the women we are today because of the love that she showed us and the values she instilled in us. My siblings and I are a reflection of our parents. My brother Brian is a family man who respects women, as does our dad. She taught all of us the importance of family, faith, integrity and hard work. My mother took her role in the family very seriously. She taught us not to let the past dictate the future; if you want something you have to go out there and get it.”
Muriel Edith Helwig was born on Aug. 27, 1938 in Yonkers, N.Y., to the late Henry Jr. and Mary (O’Neil) Helwig. She was the oldest of three children.
On Nov. 8, 1959, Muriel Helwig married Ronald F. Hicks at the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Yonkers, N.Y.
As a child, she attended The School of Our Lady of the Rosary and graduated high school from Sacred Heart High School in 1956.
Prior to becoming a mother, Mrs. Hicks worked in the business office of New York Telephone Company in Yonkers.
In 1963, Ronald and Muriel Hicks moved to Putnam County with their two daughters MaryEllen and Michelle. In their Carmel, N.Y. home they added two more children to the family, Laura and Brian.
While Ronald Hicks worked at Consolidated Edison, Muriel’s main focus was on raising their children.
“My mother was in charge of raising four kids and keeping the house in order,” said Odell. “It was her job and she was devoted it. My mother had a very low tolerance and had high expectations. She taught us to have a thick skin so we could take care of ourselves, but to also have a big heart so we can take care of others.”
Once she returned to the workforce, Mrs. Hicks was a unit secretary at Putnam Hospital Center.
A devout Catholic she was a parishioner at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel for over 50 years.
“The family is very grateful for the compassion and support of our pastor, Fr. Sorgie,” said Odell. “The family would also like to acknowledge His Eminence Cardinal Dolan for his visits and hours of ‘chats’ they shared. We are eternally grateful; he gave her so much peace.”
In addition to her husband Ronald of 56 years, Mrs. Hicks is survived by her children, MaryEllen (David) Odell of Carmel, Michelle Hicks (Ralph) of Carmel, Laura Hicks (Gary Prato) of Croton Falls and Brian (Stacey) Hicks of Pound Ridge; grandchildren, Hope, David, Connor, Aidan and Logan; as well as her brothers Michael Helwig and Gerald Helwig.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Cargain Funeral Home, 10 Fowler Avenue, Carmel on Sunday, Aug. 9.
A Christian Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.
“The family extends a special thank you the Mount Kisco Medical Infusion Center and the wonderful staff who cared for our mother during her treatments,” said Odell. “And of course a very special thank you goes to all those at Putnam Hospital Center and Putnam Hospital Center Hospice Care. Our mother was in the very best hands with all her friends and colleagues.”
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam, 540 White Plains Rd # 300, Tarrytown, NY 10591 or Rosary Hill Home, 600 Linda Ave, Hawthorne, NY 10532.
Photo Caption: A photo of Muriel Hicks with her husband, children and a couple of her grandchildren. Pictured in the back row from left to right: Brian Hicks, Hope Odell, Michelle Hicks, Laura Hicks, MaryEllen Odell, David Odell Jr. In the front row from left to right: Muriel Hicks and Ronald Hicks.