The Rev. Dr. Donald Paul Flick died on July 24th at his home in Bethlehem, NC, having lived fully for ninety one years. He was born in Rimersburg, PA, graduated from Grove City College, and worked briefly for Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation in New York City. His involvement with the national youth work of his denomination led him to enroll in Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA in 1952, where he subsequently earned both a masters and a doctoral degree. Other degrees included a certificate from the Wake Forest School of Pastoral Care in Chaplaincy and a long term health care license from the North Carolina Department of Health. During his last year at seminary Don met and married fellow student and the love of his life for sixty-five years, Jo Anne Townsend of Hickory, NC, and she became his partner in ministry.
Don always loved challenges, so after ordination he accepted a challenge from the Board of National Missions to establish a new congregation in Hagerstown, MD. After eight years he was called to Hickory, NC to establish a second new church, which was originally Church of the Master, and is now Peace United Church of Christ. In 1969 he responded once again to the challenge of the mission board to relocate a congregation from the inner city of Knoxville, TN to the suburbs, and a now thriving Church of the Savior continues to serve the city of Knoxville.
While in Tennessee Don worked part time as Director of Development for Uplands Retirement Center in Pleasant Hill, TN, where he gained a greater interest in caring for and providing quality life for seniors. In 1975 he accepted a call to become Associate
Executive Director for Homewood Corporation in Williamsport, MD. Continuing his work in this ministry, in 1980 he responded to a call to United Church Retirement Home in Newton, NC, where he began the expansion of the ministry beyond the Newton campus. In time he moved to the position of Administrator of the Newton campus, and in 1984 was elected to the position of Executive Director of the corporation. Under his leadership United Church Homes became a multi-faceted ministry with two well established full service continuing care retirement communities and a third one architecturally designed, as well as several HUD housing units.
Don thrived on helping to meet the needs of the communities in which he lived. In Hagerstown, MD and Hickory, NC he helped organize hospital chaplaincy programs. In Waynesboro, PA he helped start a community service program. During his ministries in Catawba County he helped organize Cooperative Christian Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, Adult Life Programs, LINC Ministry, and Catawba Valley Interfaith Council.
He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-five years, Jo Anne Townsend Flick and his proudest accomplishments, his children: Jodi Flick (Henry Lister), Dona Richards (Billy), Paul Flick (Lesa), Conrad Flick (Vickie), and his "adopted" son, Shelmer Blackburn; grandchildren Elizabeth Richards, Alyse Arnold (Michael), Colton Flick, Austin Flick, Amelia Flick, and "bonus" grandchildren Currin King (Adam), Belle Paylor, Grace, Olivia, and Will Ingledue. He is also survived by a sister, Nancy Dunmire (Edward), niece Susen Dunmire (Doug McIlwaine), nephew Andrew Dunmire (Anne), and four great nieces and nephews, as well as numerous friends around the world, especially his wife's best friend since childhood, Peggy Fleming.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any of the following scholarships: Flick Scholarship, Catawba College, Salisbury, NC 2300 W. Innes Street, Salisbury, NC 28144; Flick Scholarship, Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC; Flick Scholarship, Peace United Church of Christ, Hickory, NC.
A memorial service to honor the memory of Mr. Flick will be held on August 14th at Spirit Place, Abernethy Laurels, Newton, NC, at 11:00 AM. The family will receive friends and share memories immediately following the service.
Online condolences may be left at www.hickoryfh.com
Arrangements are with Hickory Funeral Home.