Donald Sims Bickers

October 18, 1921 ~ May 26, 2006 (age 84)
U.S. Veteran

Donald S. Bickers was born on October 18, 1921 in Tennille, Georgia to John Laurence and Blanche Clack Bickers. He was their only child. His parents were lifelong public school teachers. After primary and secondary education in public schools of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, he entered Emory University at age sixteen. He received his bachelors and medical degrees here. After an internship at Emory University hospital, he served as a medical officer in the United States Army for two years with rank of captain. The next five years were spent in continuing postgraduate education on the Harvard neurological service in Boston City Hospital, for neurological residency at Montefiore Hospital in New York, a year as research associate at the Illinois Neuropsychiatric Institute, and a fellowship at the Montreal Institute was followed by his neurosurgical residency at Emory University Hospital. At the University of Illinois, he was admitted to Sigma Xi, an honorary research fraternity. He entered independent private practice of neurosurgery in Atlanta in 1952. With particular interest in seizure disorders, he established electroencephalographic laboratories at Emory University (its first), St. Joseph''s Infirmary, and West Paces Ferry Hospital. This technique was essential to direct recording during brain surgery for epilepsy, which was first done here at St. Joseph''s Infirmary. With cooperation of the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Georgia Chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, a Surgical Control Clinic met monthly in his private office for many years to return patients to a self-supporting normal life. He served as a consultant to the Crippled Children''s Division, Aidmore, and the Cerebral Palsy School. As a member of the Northwest Hospital Corporation, he was a founder of West Paces Ferry Hospital and served a term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. After retirement from private practice, he continued to service as a neurosurgical consultant for the Howell Industrial Clinic to full retirement in 1995. He was certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Specialty related memberships included the Georgia Neurosurgical Society (Past President), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Southern Neurosurgical Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Southern EEG Society (Past President), the American EEG Society, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. A lifelong interest in agriculture and conservation led to expansion of the family farm in Gwinnett County for registered cattle. It received several conservation awards and was named a Centennial Farm by Governor Zell Miller in 1996. After full retirement in 1995, his primary interest was in preservation of Southern heritage. A past Commander of Major William E. Simmons Camp 96 in Lawrenceville, he was Surgeon to the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He received the Meritorious and Distinguished Service Medals from the National Commander of the S.C.V. Recognizing the need for a wider approach, the Southern Cultural Foundation was founded in 2001, which he served as first President of the board of Trustees. He was a founding member of the Cherokee Town and Country Club and a member of the Phoenix Society.

He is survived by Joyce Fraser Bickers, his wife of 54 years; one daughter, Helen Alice Bickers of Hanover, Germany; sons, Donald Sims Bickers, Jr. of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Robert Laurence Bickers of Sandpoint, Idaho; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at two o''clock at Peachtree Christian Church with interment following at Centennial Christian Church Cemetery in White Plains, GA in Hancock County. The family will receive friends on Monday evening from 5 until 7 PM at H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to a charity of choice. Atlanta arrangements by H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill Chapel, 1020 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 (404) 876-1022. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of local arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

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