Carter Braxton Ficklen
1942 - 2021
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On February 1, 2021, Carter Braxton Ficklen passed away peacefully at home.

Carter was born on July 30, 1942, growing up in Hilton Village. He earned Eagle Scout honors and graduated from Warwick High School in 1960. In 1964, Carter married Carol Lipscomb, raising three children, Margaret Anne (Tom), Frances (John), and Carter III (Jennifer).

Carter and Carol celebrated their 57th anniversary earlier this year, sharing a lifetime of love with their friends and family. During their retirement, they traveled extensively with friends, continued their love of spending time in the Outer Banks, and enjoyed time with their five grandchildren, Thomas, William, Skylar, Braxton, and Elizabeth.

He graduated with honors from CNU and received his MBA from William and Mary. Carter began his career in health physics at Newport News Shipbuilding and in 1977, became the first radiation safety officer at NASA Langley Research Center. In 1989, he joined Jefferson Lab, serving in a number of leadership roles in environmental health and safety, until his retirement in 2008. He was an active leader in his industry, serving as President of the Virginia Chapter of the Health Physics Society and the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Tidewater Local Section.

Carter always believed in the importance of giving back to his community and served on many volunteer boards, including the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, the Volunteer Center, the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, St. Andrew's Day School, and the National Aeronautics Support Team.

His deep love and dedication for his family extended to his community and his faith. A lifelong member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, he served multiple terms on the vestry and as the Director and coach in the church's youth basketball program for 26 years. He influenced the lives of countless young men on his teams, who later in life, he would call friends.

Sports were one of Carter's greatest passions. An avid tennis player since his teens, he served multiple terms as president of the Hilton Tennis Club. In college, he also found a love for being on the other side of the ball as an official. He officiated high school softball, basketball, and football for many years and was one of the Peninsula Football Officials Association's oldest crew chiefs. He found great joy in sharing his love of officiating in mentoring young officials, many of whom have gone on to officiate at the college level. In 2018, he received the Milestone Award from the Peninsula Sports Club, acknowledging his contributions during his 35-year career as a local official. But his love of sports was never more evident than in recent years when he was able to watch his grandchildren excel on the sports field.

A private family service will be held at Peninsula Funeral Home on Friday, February 5 at 3 p.m., and guests are invited to view the live stream service at All COVID restrictions will apply.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Newport News, earmarked for community outreach. Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Press on Feb. 4, 2021.
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29 entries
April 5, 2021
What a great guy!
Kenn White
March 6, 2021
A good friend for a Long, long time. Our families loved to go to their house in the early days to watch sports on tv and play games etc. And of course do eat, Carter was a student of mine at Christopher Newport University and a great student. I will always hold him, Carol and family close in my heart. Marshall Booker
Marshall Booker
February 24, 2021
Dear Carol and family,
I mourn with you the loss of a wonderful man, a great co-worker, and a mentor in many ways. Carter was a consummate professional and vital contributor the environment, safety, and health programs at key industrial and research facilities in the Hampton Roads area. He understood what people truly value and brought those values into his many working relationships across the region and across the country. As Treasurer for the Virginia Chapter of the Health Physics Society, it is my pleasure to act on the chapter’s recommendation to donate to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Newport News, to their community outreach program, in in Carter’s memory.
Robert May
February 20, 2021
Dear Carol and Family,

Lucy and I are so sorry to hear of Carter’s passing. He was a real gentleman and a model for all of us to follow. RIP my tennis buddy.
Brian Sanders
February 9, 2021
To the Ficklen family. I will miss seeing Mr. Car-tier on and off the court. He was a good man and I enjoyed many of our conversations. I don't think anyone will be able to duplicate his falling backwards loopy forehand shot. He truly had mastered that shot. Sorry for your lost but hopefully memories of his smile will brighten your sorrows and ease your pain.
Coke Henderson
February 8, 2021
I joined Hilton Tennis Club the summer after 7th grade back in 1971. Through the years I had the pleasure and honor of getting to know Carter and play tennis with him and against him many times. Whether at Hilton or at what was then called Jefferson Davis Jr. High School, he was always more than willing to play tennis with all comers, whether you were a kid or an adult, it didn't make a difference to Carter. He truly enjoyed both playing tennis AND making friends. I have nothing but great memories of Carter and the tennis courts and the world are sadder places without him around. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and I know the memories they have of him will keep him alive in their hearts, just like my memories will keep him alive in mine. I will forever remember him sitting on the bench at Hilton, waiting to play, and being more than willing to play with anyone, regardless of their age or ability!
Robert W. Carmines, CPA
February 7, 2021
Carter was a lifelong friend of mine. We both grew up in Hilton Village and went to the same public schools and to the same church. Over the years we had many memorable times together, many of those involving sports. We were both tennis enthusiasts, and we had many hard fought tennis matches between us and as doubles partners against others. Carter was a loyal friend and a person of the highest integrity. I admired his very successful career. He was a great father, grandfather and husband. He will be missed.

Richard H. Seward
Richard Seward
February 7, 2021
Carol and family,
I am sending you condolences at this healing time and to share my thoughts of Carter. He was always a gentleman and caring person who was a pleasure to have known.
Patsy Queensberry
February 6, 2021
“Big Carter,” aka., “The More Seasoned Carter Ficklen,” put the IH in workplace exposure assessments. Hey, it’s in there, you just have to look.
Chris Jones
February 6, 2021
M condolences to the Ficklen family. I first met Careter when he came to work at the shipyard. We worked many high school football games together for many years. Carter was friend and a dedicated professional. May Carter rest in peace and I pray for the family during their time of loss.
Cliff Coffman
February 5, 2021
Dear Carol,
With sadness, Judy and I learned of Carter's passing and we wish to extend our sincere condolences to you and your family.
His friendship (and yours) mean a great deal to us. I admired him greatly for his wide range of talents, his love for family and community, and for his
high personal standards. He surely served his profession and community with distinction.
You are in our thoughts and prayers as we pray you are being sustained by God's grace in a powerful way at this time.
Gordon Gentry, Jr
February 5, 2021
Carol, Margaret Anne, Frances, Carter III, and family, Our family always enjoyed time spent with "The Ficklens." The generosity, hospitality, and support from each member of the family was modeled from Carter and Carol to motivate others to join in, celebrate, volunteer, and to always enjoy sports. Conversations were always stimulating and the loving energy of Carter and Carol to tackle any task head on gave us all a true witness to how to live - "unconditional love." Their three glorious children - and five grandchildren are a tribute to Carter and Carol's open heart. We watched Carter officiate many games, passed him cutting the grass at the Family Cemetery on Todds Lane on many a hot humid summer Virginia day, and of course, saw him cheer his children on in their many achievements. His positive influence on so many - with mentoring stories goes untold - for there are so many. We know how much his family's hearts will ache for him and their tears will flow, as others whom loved, honored, and cherished his friendship. The sky has a new star - that shines so bright, and as we all look up, the light of his life will help to remove the pain of his loss. Christina Rossetti says it best in her poem "Remember Me." Our deepest sympathy to all. Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad. Loving Prayers, The Friesz (John/Barbara) and Glover (Eric/Jennifer/Mason) Family,
Barbara Friesz
February 5, 2021
Carter was a generous, caring, and special friend who I will always remember. We worked many football games together and he was always a true professional and great to be around. He has given so much of himself to the youth of the area and our football officials association will certainly miss him. I pray that the family will remember the good times and know that he is resting comfortably.
Jim Mayhew
February 5, 2021
My deepest condolences to the Ficklen family. I had the wonderful opportunity of being a colleague of Carter in the Health Physics field through associations in the Health Physics Society, national and local Virginia chapter over many years. He always had a friendly smile and contributed in so many ways to his professional career, colleagues and friends. May Carter rest in peace and eternal joy with the Lord.
Carl Tarantino
February 4, 2021
I met Carter as an aspiring student at ODU. I took an unpaid internship at Langley Research Center where he was the Radiation expert. His welcoming approach and mentoring style immediately made me feel welcome, inquisitive and, well, respectful. I realized then that this is what being a good person and a working professional is all about. He influenced me to continue my professional education and was such an amazing and influential person in my life. Having lost my father during high school, Mr. Ficklen was so important in the direction of my life. I will miss him, but know in my heart he will Rest In Peace in Heaven.
Lindsay Booher
February 4, 2021
I enjoyed working with Carter very much. Always had such a great personality!
Becky Mosbrucker
February 4, 2021
Dear Margaret and Family,
I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. My condolences to you and your family.
Robert L. "Bobby" Oliver
Robert Oliver
February 4, 2021
Hi Carol and family,
Bob May told me of Carter's passing. He was truly one of my best professional friends and I shall never forget the many fun times we spent together and often with Carol. We had many useful and productive conversations, by phone, email and in person. I especially enjoyed my several dinner visits with the two of you while being "on business travel" to JLAB after Carter retired. Carter was always a gentleman and tried to keep his colleagues (including me!) on an even keel, with his keen sense of humility and understanding for other people. He will surely be missed by all of us and my deepest condolences go out to his family!

Don Cossairt, now retired from Fermilab.
Don Cossairt
February 4, 2021
Am so sorry to hear of Carters death. Such great memories at Hilton Tennis Club. May God Bless and Keep you in your time of need. Peace and comfort to you at this difficult time.
Debi Dowdy
February 4, 2021
RIP,MY FRIEND,GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT;of all the people who were in contact with him. First met Carter in early 60s wkg together in SHPYRD.I always liked C,he always had knowledge and OPINIONS on any subject, FAMILY,friends, sports, world.Thank you for our short time together!
Martin Reade
February 4, 2021
Wanted to pass on my condolences to Carter III. We worked together at NASA LaRC. Carter III's father worked at LaRC years ago before going to Jefferson Lab.
Wonderful family! Praying for the entire family during their time of loss.
Bill Davis
Bill Davis
February 4, 2021
So sorry for all members of the Ficklen family. I will always cherish the memories of fun times with Big C.
Kevin Laferriere
February 4, 2021
Long time friend and associate in high school sports especially basketball. He will be truly missed
Jim Osborne
February 4, 2021
Carter was a great guy and a boon to the community. He was my basketball coach back in the 70s, and he led us to a championship. He was always supportive of all his players. My condolences to all of his family. He will be greatly missed.
Rob Saunders
February 4, 2021
I've lost a coach, tennis partner and good friend. I've known Carter since my late teens. Even if a year or two got between us, catching up was never a problem. Carter and Carol always were welcoming when I visited. I will sorely miss him.
Condolences to Carol and family
Jon W Hatch
February 3, 2021
I first knew Carter when he lived in Hilton Village and have known him as he grew in St. Andrews Episcopal. He and Carol were a true love match and it was always a joy to see them together in church. When he was able to come back after his stroke, it was just a Joy. Carol, I send you, Carter III and all of your family all of my sympathy and Love. Carter was a very special person and we will all miss him in a special way. We will get together soon.
Betty Hayes
February 3, 2021
I was saddened to hear of Carter's passing. I interfaced with Carter for years at JLab and also on the softball field. He was always soft spoken and kind around me weather we were arguing safety or balls and strikes (I was a pitcher). He was a good man.
Ronald Lauze
February 3, 2021
I was sad to hear of Carter's passing. He was a lovely man and devoted to his family. I knew him as a fellow tennis player but actually at one time lived next door to his mother and even earlier was the first grade teacher of his sweet and capable daughter, Margaret Anne, who was always an asset to my class. He will not only be missed by his family and friends but by the peninsula for all his service to the community. My condolences to the family for the loss of a life well lived.
Kathryn Allen
February 3, 2021
I was so sad to hear of Carter's passing. He was a lovely man with a devoted family. I have in the past played tennis with him, actually lived next to his mother, but also was first grade teacher for his sweet and capable daughter, Margaret Anne, who always was a help to me as a student. He will not only be missed by his family and friends but for all his contributions to the peninsula and the welfare of this community. My condolences to his family.
Kathryn Allen
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