Holly Beth Hickson Laknahour, PhD

January 28, 1954 ‒ December 17, 2008

Adairo, New Mexico


Died December 17, 2008 in Albuquerque, NM after an extended illness.

Born on January 28, 1954, Holly graduated from Mount Gilead High School in 1972 and from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1976. She received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Education and Counseling from American University in Washington, DC.

Holly dedicated her professional and personal life to work for social justice and equality. She spent several years in Memphis, TN in private practice and working for a number of organizations as a clinical psychologist, a crisis counselor, and counselor for families of federal prisoners. While in Memphis she completed a number of conferences and interviews in her role as an expert in crisis intervention and hostage negotiation.

She was active in the Memphis School of Servant Leadership, helped organize and conduct the Memphis Conference for Racial Reconciliation in 2002, and served on the Shelby County (TN) Interfaith Council. Holly served on the Memphis Commission for Jubilee 2000 for several years. She was an instructor at Mid-South Community College and worked extensively for the YouthBuild U.S.A. program in West Memphis, Arkansas.

In 2003, Holly moved to Albuquerque, NM. While there she served as the program director for Help New Mexico, a nonprofit organization that assists nonprofit organizations to obtain grant support for their work.

She was an active supporter of social causes and worked on behalf of the Wings for L.I.F.E. organization. In 2008 she received the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for 2007 award from the L.I.F.E. ministry.

Holly was a talented writer and educator, an accomplished grant-writer, and she was a fine cook and gifted musician. She was a life-long, active member of the United Methodist Church.

Holly was predeceased by her parents, Dr. David James Hickson and Gloria Smith Hickson, formerly of Mount Gilead, OH. She is survived by her son, James Habib Laknahour, and his wife Jennifer Slovik Laknahour of Austin, Texas; sisters Dr. Amy B. Hickson of Albuquerque, NM and Rev. Sarah Hickson de Salazar of Guymon, OK; a brother, David James Hickson, Jr. of Sandy Spring, MD; and several nieces and nephews.

A brief Memorial Service and Inurnment will be held at Rivercliff Union Cemetery in Mount Gilead, Ohio, at 10:30 am on Wednesday, July 13th.

Holly requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Coalition on Human Needs, 1120 COnnecticut Ave. NW, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been entrusted with local arrangements.

For those wishing to express your private condolences online to Holly’s family, you may do so by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.