Remembering Donald Marcus Mutahar Hickey

Feb 24, 2023 | 2 comments

Remembering Donald Marcus Mutahar Stevenson Hubert Hickey. 1942 – 2023

In the Summer of 2022 I drove to the Midwest to attend the SICA-USA board retreat being held at CoPlay, in Muncie, Indiana. On that trip I arranged to interview several older Subud members for the SUSA Archives Oral History Project.
I had only met Hubert Stevenson Hickey once previously. It was at the Skymont Congress in 1970 when he was known by the name Mutahar. The video interview with Hubert, currently in rough-cut form is more than an hour in length; too long for this media. I recently did an additional edit focused on his life in Subud in order to get to down to seventeen minutes for the blog. Unfortunately, several compelling stories about his life had to be cut out. Eventually this and the other full-length interviews will be available on the SUSA Archives website.

The thing that struck me most about Hubert’s telling of his life story is his deep admiration for his artist
mother, Vara Grube and especially his recollection of the time when, as a teenager, he rode bicycle around
Europe and Britain with her.

Following is the obituary Hubert’s former wife, Renata Hickey, spoke at his recent funeral along with a poem
presented by his daughter Melinda. The link to the video is at the bottom.

My name is Renata for those of you who do not know me. I am Hubert’s third wife. Today I’m going to tell you about where Hubert came from and all the good things that he shared with us here on earth. Hubert Hickey was a man of many talents, and had a brain like a walking encyclopedia. His mother, Vara Grube Hickey, was an accomplished artist who painted and sold hundreds of pictures, taught many young students how to paint and started the Northwest Watercolor
Society in Seattle, Washington. His father was a union organizer, newspaper editor, lawyer, and was eventually appointed a judge in Seattle. His father also built the log cabin they lived in as well as his favorite chair. Both of Hubert's parents were on the forefront of society and began to teach him things as a very young child. Hubert’s father died when Hubert was seven years old. Because she could not drive the family car his mother’s doctor wrote a note to the department of motor vehicles asking if her son could be issued a temporary license. He was so tall he could
see over the steering wheel. This made it possible for them to buy their groceries and go to doctor’s appointments. In his eighth-grade year he and his mother went to Europe to collect an inheritance. He attended schools in Germany, Switzerland, France, and England. As they traveled his mother made lots of quick sketches on a small sketchpad in order to remember the historical sites. When they came back to the United States, his eighth-grade year in Europe did not count as credit for the American schools so he had to retake the eighth grade.
His mother, on the other hand, successfully painted and sold hundreds of pictures from her European sketches.
After graduating high school, Hubert studied physics and mathematics at UCLA. He lived on campus for almost eight years where he was briefly married to his first wife. Kathy Hickey was instrumental in guiding him to Subud. The Subud Association shaped the rest of his life. He was a dedicated member who attended latihan every week until the day he died. As a matter of fact, the morning he passed he was preparing to go to Coplay in Muncie to be with his Subud brothers and sisters for the day.
As a young man the Subud members took him under their wings. After graduating from college he lived with many different Subud families in California doing odd jobs. He could fix their leaky sinks, change out electrical fixtures or even build a new deck. Because of his self-taught skills and inherited hands-on talents, he eventually became licensed as an electrician and a plumber. His carpentry skills were also very good . . . just like his father’s.
Hubert met his second wife Rashida when a knock came to the door where he was living with a Subud family in California. Their courtship was very short and she actually proposed to him. At first, they lived in California where they had their daughter, Halima, and then moved to Virginia where their son, Eliyas was born. In Virginia they lived in the Subud community called Skymont, where his handyman skills were very much needed. Six or seven years later they broke off their marriage and Hubert moved back to California where he helped make pizzas in Robert Bachelor’s pizza shop.
One day I went with a Subud friend to the shop because she was going to do some accounting work for the Robert. Several pizzas were plopped down on our table and across from me sat Hubert, then Mutahar, Hickey. I was immediately intrigued by how much knowledge he had to share. I could ask him anything and he had an answer. We were both members of Subud and I had traveled all the way from Indiana looking for a Subud husband. Within five months, we were married and I got pregnant right away with our son Donald.
Hubert started a building and repair business that was very successful. Our second son, Lucas, came a year and a half later. Hubert really loved learning things and wanted to know more about computers so we moved to my home state Indiana, where our daughter Melinda was born in Indianapolis. Hubert received a special grant from the government to further his education. To accomplish this we moved to Muncie, where he got his masters degree in computer science from Ball State University. While in Muncie our daughter Davina was born. When he graduated he did not have a job yet, so we moved to
Pipersville, Pennsylvania, where he helped Mariam Ralph, a Subud Sister, on her dairy farm. After a year passed, a job came up near Detroit, Michigan. At the time I was pregnant with my fifth child. This job was not the right fit so we moved back to California where Hubert found a good job using his new computer skills. Our daughter, Viviana was born in Santa Rosa, California. As the family grew we moved several more times to find bigger spaces for all the children. Both Magnus and Michael were also born in Santa Rosa. Mortgages in California were sky high and we could never afford them. We always dreamed of owning our own home so we decided to move back to Indiana where homes were affordable.
Hubert found a great job at Menards in a little town south of Indianapolis called Camby. We purchased a six-bedroom house where Hubert lived until the day he died. We both loved owning our own home and we found a very comfortable community for our kids to grow up in. Hubert lived a full life, having a total of nine children, eight of whom were present at his funeral.

He spent all of his life trying to be as close to God as he could, and now his spirit has returned to his maker. May God bless him, and most of all, may God’s will be done! RH

I have come to know
the pain that doesn’t show
when you lose someone
you love so deeply
it hurts to think
of all the memories
when all I wish
is for one more day
with you dad
I know we had
so many adventures together
growing up in Cali
always going hiking
trips to the beach

I know that each
one of us is so
grateful you were our dad
such a peaceful spirit
who would listen to
all of my crazy ideas
answered all my questions
about how the world works
such a wise man
who didn’t need
material possessions
to make him happy
just a cup of coffee
would do
always reading a book
and would tell me
so many stories
of the long life he lived
before he became my dad
all of the talks we had
like just last week
we invented a vacuum together
that would be revolutionary
never afraid to dream big
always fixing something
in a family of 9 people
built a 2 story tree house
that Magnus fell out of
gave us a pool
and a trampoline
even though we were poor
we always made it through
God has given us many miracles
even though you would worry
I was there to remind you
of what you taught me
you loved us unconditionally
through all of our mistakes
you were there
with the voice of reason
the receivings from God
that gave me direction
I will always treasure
the light in you
that is now the light in me
we will forever be yours
love you dad
Melinda Hickey



  1. Renata, thank you for sharing Hubert’s life story. I am very moved by his incredible life journey and especially touched by Melinda’s poem about her dad. I met Hubert, then Mutahar, in California and our lives crossed paths briefly. He was a remarkable man. May his forward journey be blessed. My sincere condolences to you and his extended family.

    Miriam Moyer then Shaw

  2. I know your family from your Santa Rosa days. I didn’t know Hubert (Mutahar then) well, but reading your words, Renata and Melinda, I wish I had.
    May your grief journeys be graced with love, and may Hubert find his angel wings and fly home.
    Sending love from Hawaii (I moved from Santa Rosa with my husband and daughter in 2021).
    Muftiah Martin


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