Ollie Amick, businessman, longtime politician, dies

Friday, April 28, 2006

For decades Oliver "Ollie" Amick was one of the best-known people in Scott City.

He ran a successful business, represented the city and county for two terms in the Missouri General Assembly and his name was synonymous with baseball in the small town.

On Wednesday Amick died, but he leaves a long legacy of community service and enterprising spirit behind -- a legacy as strong as the dedication he had for his adopted hometown.

"Scott City was number one," said Ollie's son, Mark. "Everything he did was for the town of Scott City, and Scott County, but mostly for Scott City."

Amick was originally from Iowa, and transplanted to Scott City after service as an Army captain during World War II, during which he received a Bronze Star.

He took over a Scott City funeral home operated by his aunt, along with Jack Burnett, who would become his partner in the Amick-Burnett Funeral Home. Ollie Amick operated the funeral home until 1990, when the next generations of the Amick and Burnett families took over.

He fathered five children in Scott City, and, in addition to being a key business figure, was also heavily involved in civic and veterans organizations, administering youth baseball leagues, coaching teams, the Scott City school board and state politics -- a long record of public service.

Supported youth sports

His enthusiasm and involvement in youth baseball earned him a spot in the SEMO Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.

"The kids of Scott City were his life," said Mark Amick.

He won election to the state legislature twice as a Democrat, in 1988 and 1990, before being defeated by in 1992 by Dennis Ziegenhorn when district boundaries were redrawn.

Former Missouri first lady Betty Hearnes, a Democrat from Charleston, Mo., faced Amick twice in the primaries. She defeated him once; he defeated her once.

Over the years Hearnes and her husband, former governor Warren Hearnes, developed a friendship with Amick, and both are saddened at the news of his death, said Betty Hearnes.

During the 40 years the Hearnes family knew Amick, Betty Hearnes said he was always a willing public servant.

"You always knew he put his people first, and his community first," said Hearnes. "He could go into a crowd and greet the people, he knew how to be friendly that way."


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