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Obituary: Douglas Ricardo Fickess

Obituary: Douglas Ricardo Fickess

October 1st, 2018 in Obituaries

Douglas Ricardo Fickess, 86, of Fulton, passed away on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at The Neighborhoods in Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Fickess was born on August 25, 1932 in Piedmont, Okla., the eldest son of the late Ray Fickess and the late Edith (Slaton) Fickess. He attended public schools in Piedmont, Healdton and Oklahoma City, Okla. An exceptional student, he made a plan for himself for higher education. He served on active and reserve duty as an artillery officer with the U.S. Army from 1955-1960 and entered college when his service ended. He received BS and MS degrees from University of Oklahoma, then moved to Columbia, Mo., and continued his education at University of Missouri where he attained a PhD in Zoology. During his graduate program in 1962, Dr. Fickess was offered an assistant professorship position with the biology department at Westminster College, where he retired in 2005. He taught biology, physiology, history of science and judo. He served as the mathematical and natural sciences division chair, chair of the biology department, faculty secretary and vice chair, and chair of the military affairs advisory committee for the ROTC detachment for several years. He was also a faculty advisor for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Westminster. Dr. Fickess was active in the revitalization of the Missouri Academy of Science in the 1960s and, as a member, served terms as vice president and president. He was also an original member of the Coordinating Missouri Board of Higher Education and served on the advisory committee for the Missouri Department of Mental Health's Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. A man of many talents and interests, an avid reader, and a lifelong learner, Dr. Fickess led a long and fulfilling life, including participating in community theater, rescuing and housing a number of homeless dogs and cats (and one squirrel), and counseling dear friends during times of need. He was an elder member of First Presbyterian Church in Fulton, and also an excellent storyteller. But his life's greatest accomplishment is the love of learning (by "applying the seat of one's pants to the seat of one's chair") which he so deftly introduced to so many of his students who still return yearly to thank him for his unrelenting guidance. Those remaining to mourn his passing include his wife of 34 years, Gemma (DeGroot) Fickess of Fulton; son, Jay Fickess of Kansas City; daughter, Shannon Dennis of Columbia; brother, Ralph Fickess of Kendrick, Okla.; and grandchildren, Adam Horine, Rylee Page and Kaden Page. Along with his parents, Dr. Fickess was preceded in death by brother, Dutch Fickess; grandson, Cody Horine; and step-son, Aaron Page. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in the chapel of St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury on the Westminster College campus in Fulton. Friends will be received from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. A reception in the atrium of the Coulter Science Center will immediately follow the Celebration of Life. Memorial donations are suggested to the Callaway County Humane Society, P. O. Box 795, Fulton, MO 65251. Condolences may be left for the family at www.maupinfuneralhome.com.