William George Fickling, aged 93, of Le Center, passed away on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at Central Health Care. Per Bill’s wishes funeral arrangements are tentatively scheduled for the morning of June 10th. Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 9am-10am with funeral service at 10am all at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Le Center. Military Honors provided by the Le Center area Veterans Honor Guard. followed by a burial ceremony. Bill will rest next to his mom Mary, dad Troy & brother Troy Jr. at Mound Cemetery in Le Sueur. In lieu of flowers or cards please donate in Bill’s name to the Le Center VFW, Legion, a charity of your choosing or take time to recognize someone special in your life.
William (Bill, Billy) Fickling was born on March 17, 1929 in Le Center, MN to Troy and Mary (Plummer) Fickling. Bill attended Le Center Elementary School, District 75 School and graduated from McKinley High School in Le Center. Upon graduation, Bill attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter with the ambition of becoming a doctor. Bill’s family had a history in medicine. His grandfather, Minnesota State Senator William, and his dad Troy were veterinarians and members of his mom’s family were also prominent medical doctors. In fact, the Plummer Building & House at the Mayo Clinic are named after a member of Mary (Plummer) Fickling’s family.
Due to his service in the Korean War, Bill’s medical aspirations were cut short. Bill entered the U.S. Army February 18, 1954 and rose to the rank of Sergeant. During Bill’s time in Korea, he served in combat as an Intelligence Signal Corp Officer stationed in Seoul, South Korea. Bill was honorably discharged in from active-duty December 23, 1955. Bill then served in the Army Reserves until June 30, 1962. Like many other USA combat veterans, Bill’s life was altered forever due to what he experienced in war.
After coming home from the Korean War and with the sudden passing of Bill’s Father Troy, Bill joined his brother Troy Jr & mother Mary in taking care of the Fickling Family Farm just a few miles north of Le Center. Then after Bill’s brother Troy Jr passed at an early age of 38 due to a farming accident, Bill ran the family farm with the help of many local hired hands. Bill also cared for his mother Mary until her passing at the age of 90 in 1981.
Bill often spoke proudly of how his ancestors came from England through Canada, floated down the Minnesota River from St. Paul with nothing more than the clothes they wore. After landing in Le Sueur they bush-whacked their way through the woods to the current location of what was to become the Fickling Family Century Farm. Bill’s family built a little log cabin overlooking what is now the cattle pasture and from there built a life off the land.
Bill’s faith was the cornerstone to his life. It guided every interaction he had with everyone who came into his sphere. You never left an interaction with Bill feeling you were cheated in any way. Bill always gave his time and resources to those he encountered. Bill truly “never met a stranger”. You could go a lifetime without meeting a better human. One of the first Episcopal churches in the Territory was built on the Fickling Farm. Upon the closure of the Episcopal church in Le Center, Bill became a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Le Center. Over the years Bill would hold Bible studies on the farm for anyone who wanted to attend. Bill’s faith was not grounded in a classification of religion type, but rather an openness of heart and faith in God. The Le Center community truly lost an amazing individual.
Bill was a member of the Le Center VFW, Le Center Legion, Le Sueur County Fair, Le Sueur Pioneer Power, Le Center Sportsman Club & Cattleman’s Association, among others. Bill was once named Le Sueur County Outstanding Citizen.
Bill enjoyed neighborhood card parties, gardening, photography, hunting (but never loaded his gun), and fishing. But most of all, he loved mentoring young and old alike. His deeds of kindness and the example he set in his everyday life will reverberate in our community for generations. God welcomed home a warrior of faith & love!
Arrangements are with the Le Center Funeral Home in Le Center. 507-357-6116. On-line condolences may be left at www.lecenterfuneralhome.com.