This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.
Richard “Dick” Ficke Jr, Lt.Col.Ret. resident of Bartlett, NH passed away on April 20, 2020 at Maine Medical Center after complications from heart and kidney failure.
He was born in Danbury, Connecticut in 1937, the son of Richard Frederick Henry Ficke and Cleo Margaret Ethridge.
Dick grew up in the Hudson Valley in the town of Rhinebeck, NY before entering Colgate University where he graduated in 1959 with a BA in History. There he captained the Colgate Rifle Team, was president of the Outing Club and selected into Konosioni, the senior honor society.
In 1960, he entered the U.S. Air Force and, upon completion of flight training, he served in the Strategic Air Command in various B-52 operations, command and staff and maintenance positions. These included the 319th Bomb Wing in Grand Forks ND; 416th Bomb Wing at Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY; 8th AF Headquarters at Westover AFB, MA; Air University Command & Staff College in Montgomery, AL; 307th Strategic Wing at U-Tapao AB in Thailand; and 43rd Strategic Wing at Andersen AB on Guam. During this period he attended Auburn University, attaining a MA degree in Political Science.
In 1975, he was assigned to the U.S. Naval War College after serving tours in Thailand and Guam. As a faculty member, he taught national policy and strategy. Dick was subsequently assigned to Ramstein AB, Germany as Deputy Base Commander, retiring in 1981 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he received the following military decorations: the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, AF Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
Dick retired to Newport, RI, joining a small business Defense Department contractor. He rose to the position of VP and Director of Business Development before retiring a second time in 2001. It was here that he met Annie and the two chose to move to the Mount Washington Valley where Dick had built a second home.
He has been active in various Mount Washington Valley community service programs as past president of the Kiwanis Club of MWV, Kiwanian of the Year and Kiwanian District Lt. Governor; president of MWV Habitat for Humanity, chapter chair of MWV SCORE and “Head Elf” of Angels and Elves, one of his proudest retired-life achievements. In 2013 he was presented with the White Mountains Treasure Award and the SCORE Leadership Award and in 2015 the Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council Volunteer of the Year Award. The definition of a fine, humble, kind, bright, thoughtful gentleman was Dick Ficke. His generosity and good deeds at home and throughout his beloved Valley will live on.
In addition to devoting himself to serving his community, he had a passion for classical music, opera and Broadway musicals. He also enjoyed fly fishing, golf, tennis and model railroading. He was very proud that he won a lot of money answering questions on “Jeopardy!”. He loved doing the Sunday NYT crossword puzzles and sitting by a roaring fire on a snowy day reading “War and Peace” and sipping Shiraz. And not to be forgotten is his sardonic humor.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Annie, their dog Natty; his children Lt Col Diane Ficke, USAF ret, David Ficke of Montgomey, AL; and stepson, Sebastian Fairchild of Boston, MA.
In lieu of flowers, Dick asked that donations be made to either MWV Habitat for Humanity, 2 Common Court, North Conway, NH 03860 or Kiwanis Angels and Elves, P. O. Box 3053, North Conway 03860. Always remember Dick as a loyal son of Colgate.
A viewing and Military Honors ceremony will be held in Newport, RI. Arrangements are being made by Memorial Funeral Home, Newport. RI. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the summer in Bartlett, NH.
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