Abilene Volunteer will be Missed

The first tee at the Abilene Reporter-News Junior will never be the same.

Louis Carroll Wicker, 73, longtime honorary starter at the Abilene Reporter-News Junior, passed away Dec. 21, 2002, at his home in Abilene, Texas. Known for his flair for the dramatic, both in his dress and during the announcement of players, Wicker will forever be remembered by those who attended the event.

Born in Houston on Sept. 11, 1929, Wicker came to Abilene in 1954 where he received his degree from Abilene Christian University in Secondary Education. While in Abilene, he owned and operated an insurance agency that bears his name for 48 years.

Golf was one of his enduring loves, so much so that he volunteered at the Abilene tournament as the starter on the first tee for the past 15 years. He had two signature traits: his wild fashion sense and trademark starting expression, "Coming out of chute No. 1, from..."

His personna sparks some type of fond memory by all those ever associated with the tournament.

"It is truly a passing of a legend," said Jason Etzen, AJGA executive vice president and Abilene Reporter-News tournament director in 1997 and '98. "He was one of the guys that made the Abilene event the special event that it has become. He will be missed immensely."