Rebecca F. Hickman, 80, of Northborough


Rebecca F. HickmanNorthborough – A Family Tribute to our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend, Rebecca F. Hickman (née Mercer). On Saturday, September 9, 2023, while surrounded by the love of her family, Rebecca peacefully closed her eyes and transitioned from this life’s journey to the next. She was 80 years old.

Becky, better known as Mom, Gram, and “GG”, was in a league of her own. She was beautiful, confident, funny, and her love was palpable.

It may sound cliché, but her smile could light up a room and her laugh was genuinely infectious. She was a very funny woman – and her smirk was one for the books.

In true Becky form, while working as a waitress in a Buffalo, NY diner, she saw a man walk in and declared “that’s the man I’m going to marry” – and she did. She married Joe Pantano and had two children, Joe and Sheryl. Joe passed away in 1992 and Becky remained a widow for many years. In 2007, fate would bring her and Jerry together. They had their first date at Bertucci’s and yet again, Gram declared that she found the man she would marry. After behaving like a teenager for two years, sneaking in and out of the house, coming home at late hours, she popped the question to Jerry. And the rest was history. They spent many years travelling around the United States making lasting memories together.

Becky loved to dance. She and Joe used to go out dancing and were said to be pretty good at the Jitterbug. Those genes seem to have been lost in subsequent generations. She and Jerry went dancing at Maxwell Silverman’s and even a boat cruise at one time. It was one of her passions and she was lucky to have had people who would be her partner on the dance floor.

Becky loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren immensely. She often perused Facebook and would write loving comments on pictures of her grandkids and her “GG’s” as she would call them. She was their biggest fan – and they all knew it.

Gram was the strength that kept the family coming together. Furthermore, she was a role model for not just her children and grandchildren, but for nieces and nephews. She was strong and independent in a day when not all women had the tenacity to show such traits.

Among those surviving Becky are her husband, Gerald L. Hickman, Sr.; her children, Joseph Pantano and his wife Joan, Sheryl Traylor and her husband Terry, Jerry Hickman, Jr.; six grandchildren, Adam Gallagher and his wife Lauren, Megan Hopkins and her husband Adam, Casey Traylor and his wife Maria, Corey Pantano and his wife Laura, Kristi Pantano and her husband Gerald Hurlbert, Noah Traylor and seven great-grandchildren- all whom she loved dearly. She also leaves two brothers, Herbert Mercer and his wife Ginny, William Maclean and his wife Marilyn and her beloved canine companion Mitzy.

Becky clearly made an impact on many and will not be forgotten. As a matter of fact, she will continue to live on through all who were lucky enough to know her. If only we could all be a little more like Gram, the world would be a better place.

We will miss you more than you could ever know. You were our world. We will carry your memory with us always.

Following Rebecca’s wishes, her family and friends will gather, at a time yet to be determined, to Celebrate her Life.

To honor her love of animals, please consider a memorial donation in Rebecca’s name to MSPACA by visiting

Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough is honored to assist Rebecca’s family during this difficult time. To leave an online condolence or to share a story, please visit

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