Area loses business greats


By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]



Ben Hickman (Photo courtesy of Creech Funeral Home/Hickman family)


Tom Epperson (Photo courtesy of Green Hills Funeral Home/Epperson family)


The City of Middlesboro lost two prominent businessmen within the last week, Benjamin Hickman and Tom Epperson.

Hickman, age 86, passed away on Dec. 4 at Middlesboro ARH. He is survived by a long list of family and friends, including his wife of 62 years, Betty, and children Vicki, Chris and Benny.

He served as Middlesboro mayor for 17 years and owned Hickman Building Supplies for 58 years. His devotion to Bell County was seen in the development of South Woods in Middlesboro, Woodland Hills in Pineville and through his time served as president of Middlesboro’s Ferndale Apartments.

He was also a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Korean War where he was awarded a Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, a National Defense Service Medal, Wharang Medal from South Korea, and two service medals from the Korean War and the United Nations.

Hickman was a member of Binghamtown Baptist Church and was known for smiling, pointing toward heaven saying, ” He has really blessed me.”

The funeral service will be at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Binghamtown Baptist Church.

Epperson, age 95, passed away on Dec. 5 at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville. He is survived by his wife Jackie Maxine and sons Thomas Nelson, Emerson Dale and John Todd and daughter Tonya as well as several additional family and friends.

For more than 50 years he owned and operated Tom Epp Chevrolet in Middlesboro.

He also received a Purple Heart for his service during World War II.

The funeral service is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Green Hills Funeral Home Chapel.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.

Ben Hickman (Photo courtesy of Creech Funeral Home/Hickman family)
http://middlesborodailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_Ben-Hickman.jpgBen Hickman (Photo courtesy of Creech Funeral Home/Hickman family)

Tom Epperson (Photo courtesy of Green Hills Funeral Home/Epperson family)
http://middlesborodailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_Epperson.jpgTom Epperson (Photo courtesy of Green Hills Funeral Home/Epperson family)

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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