LaVerne Joseph Hicks, 86, died, Friday, April 18, 2008 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the VA Home in Marshalltown, Iowa. Mr. Hicks was born in the Lacona area and lived in Des Moines most of his adult life. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marines, having served in WWII and awarded the Purple Heart. He retired from Firestone Tire & Rubber Company after 34 years of service. Among survivors are his son, Merle (Eileen) Hicks of Des Moines; daughter, Sheri (David) Leff of Scottsdale, AZ; two brothers, Clifford (Marilee) Hicks of Indianola and Robert (Liz) Hicks of Des Moines; four grandchildren: Joleen (Mark) Farina, Jessica (Nick) Grant and Rachel and Phillip Leff and one great-grandchild, Emma Rarina. He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Phyllis; his mother, Cecilia Hicks; his brother, Dale Hicks and his sister, Virginia Cackler. Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Ave., Des Moines; burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery. Family will visit with friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.