Richard Nelson Ficken

July 18, 1932 ~ April 30, 2020 (age 87)


Richard (Dick) Nelson Ficken, 87, of Ellicott City, MD, passed away peacefully at Gilchrist Hospice on Thursday, April 30, 2020. He was born in Hartford, CT on July 18, 1932 to George and Edith (Nelson) Ficken. He graduated from Hall High School in West Hartford, CT in 1950 and from the University of Connecticut in 1954, with a degree in Physics and Mathematics. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force and had a distinguished 30-year career with the National Security Agency (NSA) in MD and VA.

He met his sweet wife, the late Janet (Gifford) Ficken in high school. They turned out to be the perfect match. They made a great team and enjoyed a strong, blessed marriage for 55-years. We know she’s been waiting for him in heaven. (It’s a good thing she’s a patient person).

He was predeceased by his brother, George W. Ficken, Jr. of Aurora, OH. He is the admired and beloved father of Linda Eastridge (Barry Benner), of Columbia, MD, Diane (Al) Barone, of Norwalk, CT and Susan (Rick) Albert, of Plantsville, CT. He is the loving and respected grandfather of Rick and Keri Eastridge, Alyssa and Alex Barone, Zack (Kaytlyn) Albert, and Megan and Jake Albert. Dick was an example to his children, grandchildren, and all who knew him of how to live a life with integrity, thoughtfulness and honesty. He always exhibited high moral standards and a great sense of humor. He took time to “smell the roses” and laugh (even at himself). He was intelligent, analytical, forward-thinking, and could converse on many subjects.

Dick enjoyed vacationing on North Pond (in Smithfield, ME) for over 80 years, often referring to it as his favorite place on earth. He grew up with a passion for baseball and loved to play tennis and golf. He would read the latest Golf magazine, and practice in the house to improve his swing. You could find him reading, whittling away at a crossword puzzle or jumble, watching sports or nature programs, and spending time outside in the yard.

Dick appreciated the simple things in life. Family and close friends were the center of his world and he valued time spent together. Dick enjoyed telling stories and often (subtly) planted seeds of wisdom. He was truly the leader of his family, and his influence continues to serve as a compass and guide. Simply put, Dick Ficken can be summed up in these words: faith, family, service.

The family would like to express deep gratitude and thanks to the wonderful people who cared for Dick during the past year. These include loving and devoted caregivers Bella, June & Eunice; the staff at Brighton Gardens of Columbia (especially Michelle, Resident Care Director) and Gilchrist Hospice (Columbia), and his wonderful friend and neighbor, Marie. A memorial service to celebrate Dick’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made in Dick’s honor to First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3604 Chatham Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Nelson Ficken, please visit our floral store.


A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Please keep checking for service details.

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