Faculty image Aubrey Burton Hicks University Auditor University Administration


Aubrey Burton (A.B.) Hicks Jr., age 96, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 16, 2013 at home surrounded by his loving family in Dexter Michigan. He was born August 19, 1916 in Heber Springs, Arkansas the son of Aubrey Boden Hicks and Vivian Beatrice Hicks (Wright).

A veteran of WWII serving as an officer in the Fifth Army, a University of Michigan Alumni (class of 1939, MBA 1946) and long time Michigan resident, A.B. worked at the University of Michigan from 1952 until his retirement in 1983 as Director of Internal Audits.

Aubrey lived in Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, and Illinois before his family moved to Owosso, Michigan in 1926 with his younger sister Virginia Elaine. A.B. graduated from Owosso High School in 1934. After high school, A.B. joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and headed off to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to build roads, trails and fire breaks. He earned enough to pay his first semester’s tuition as he entered the University of Michigan in 1935. During his college years he was a member of the ROTC and by 1939 he was a commissioned second lieutenant in the Army. In 1939, he graduated with a BA in Economics and then began the MBA program at Michigan. With WWII on the horizon, he volunteered for active duty in the Army, and so his education was interrupted for 5 years. During the war he was stationed in North Africa and Italy and was promoted to the rank of Major personally by General Mark Clark. In 1945 he returned to UM and after earning his MBA in 1946, took a job at Price Waterhouse in Detroit. It was during this time that he became interested in flying and earned his pilot’s license in 1948.

In 1952, A.B. joined the University of Michigan as Business Manager, Sponsored Research at Willow Run Laboratories while also teaching part-time in the Accounting department. He was appointed Director of University Internal Audits (ne University Audits) in 1967, a title he held until he retired in 1983. Working collaboratively with the federal government and leading research universities, A.B. played a pivotal role in establishing indirect cost accounting standards for higher education. He was widely viewed as the national expert in this emerging field, addressing needed standards as investment in higher education sponsored research grew. One of A.B.'s proudest accomplishments as Director of Internal Audits was the creation, standardization and dissemination of University policy and practice via the Standard Practice Guide. Although now electronic, its purpose and format remains essentially unchanged from his initial implementation.

A long time U of M sports fan, A.B. continued to go to Michigan football and basketball games until he was in his late 80’s and continued to watch and cheer Michigan on at home decked out in Maize and Blue. He enjoyed many interests including classical music, boating, skiing, and biking and was a lifelong advocate of exercise. A.B. was still riding his mountain bike and swimming laps at the age of 80. Throughout his life Aubrey was a man devoted to his family and extended family.

Aubrey was preceded in death in 1957 by his first wife Martha Irene Boggs who he married in 1954 and together had two children, John and Ann. Aubrey is survived by his loving wife Jackie(Candler), daughter Ann Daniels(Tom), sons John(Elaine) and Jim(Pattie), grandchildren Kelly(Eric), Johnna (Justin), and Benjamin. 

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