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Charles Eben Medlicott


1927 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Charles Eben Medlicott Obituary
Charles Eben Medlicott

Barnardville - 12/28/27—1/17/19

Eben Medlicott, Renaissance Man, husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend, passed away quickly and without pain after an upper respiratory infection, on January 17, 2019. He was 91 years old.

Throughout his long life Eben was an innovator.

From his childhood fishing and hunting -and even hawking-- in Ontario, Canada, to his teen years helping build cabins with his father along Lake Erie, learning to fly in order to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, to his college years training as an engineer, to his years in the U.S. Army working with ballistics and then travelling across Germany procuring parts and supplies for trucks, he always went beyond the conventional to learn and do something new: building sailboats, gunsmithing, playing guitar, fixing cars.

At the age of 33, with 3 young children, he was a foreman at a GM plant in Buffalo, NY, when he and his first wife decided to move to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, which at the time was quite undeveloped. The following 15 years were the most exciting of his life, as he built houses and condos on the island, married his second wife Joan Medlicott (acquiring 3 more children), and contributed to island beautification initiatives through his leadership of the Jaycees, a volunteer service organization. In 1970 he was logistics coordinator for an international undersea habitat research program on St. John, Tektite II.

After leaving the islands to pursue a master's degree in psychology, he spent several years teaching at the community college level, and enjoyed mentoring and counseling young teachers and social workers.

He and his wife Joan moved to Western NC in 1990, and in his 60's, practically single-handedly, Eben began building rental houses on his property in Barnardsville to support his retirement.

Eben loved the peace and quiet of the mountains, and marveled at any wildlife passing by. He was a life-long dog owner, his latest being Smoky, a 50 lb. white dog who laid on his lap for most of the day.

He was a mentor and friend to young men from Barnardsville, generously lending tools and passing on his large store of knowledge and skills.

In his later years he could be a curmudgeon, albeit a kindly one, and did not suffer foolishness. His standard answer to the question "How are you doing?" was "Just awful", because he wanted to surprise people and get them thinking. His reply to "Have a nice day" was "Don't tell me what to do!"

His five children and their spouses and seven grandchildren (mostly) loved hearing his prodigious and detailed stories, and will miss him very much. Eben's love and concern for his wife Joan, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, was uppermost in his mind and heart in his last years.

To his last day he was healthy (thanks to Homeopathy, he took no medications), alert and happy to be alive. And now grateful, surely, that he went peacefully, with no long illness or loss of independence.

Farewell, Eben, on your next journey!
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Jan. 27, 2019
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