Thomas Radcliffe Flickinger

July 11, 1932November 15, 2015

Thomas Radcliffe Flickinger, 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Sea Island, GA, on Sunday morning, November 15, 2015. Tom leaves his wife of 61 years, née Phoebe Raymond, his brother William S. Flickinger of East Amherst, NY, and four children: Wendy Ross, of Katonah, NY, Geoffrey Flickinger of North Kingstown, RI, Thomas Flickinger of Winnetka, IL, Holly Williams of Durham, NC, and 13 grandchildren.

Born in Buffalo, NY on July 11, 1932 to Glenn and Awdry Flickinger, Tom attended Nichols School and graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH in 1950 and Harvard University in 1954. After serving in the US Army, stationed in France, he returned to Buffalo to join S. M. Flickinger, Inc., the family food wholesaling and distribution company, which became one of the largest companies in western New York and the biggest private employer in the city of Buffalo. He ultimately rose to be Vice President of Purchasing and Director of Quality Assurance, responsible for all products packaged and sold under the Red & White label, the first full-line private label brand in the country, started by his grandfather Smith Michael Flickinger.

Tom’s charitable work in Buffalo was extensive. He served on the board of the SPCA Serving Erie County and was President for five years. He was also a trustee of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the International Institute of Buffalo, the Buffalo Public Library, the Buffalo Zoo and the Food Bank of Western New York, which he helped establish in 1978 with his cousin Burt P. Flickinger, Jr. Additionally, he was on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church and served on the board of the Saturn Club where he was named to a one-year term as Dean in 1992.

Tom also served for 21 years on the board of his alma mater, Kimball Union Academy, was Chairman for two years and where one of his proudest achievements was the establishment of the Flickinger Arts Center. In addition, he was a trustee of The Nichols School in Buffalo, where he and his family also endowed the Arts Center bearing the Flickinger name.

Following his move to Sea Island, Tom was a trustee of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, the St. Simon’s Land Trust, the Coastal Youth Symphony, and served on the board of the Sea Island Property Owners Association.

For almost 40 years, Tom and Penny kept a summer residence in Lorraine, Ontario, and they also spent many summer months at her family house, “Riven Rock,” in Jamestown, RI. Tom was a member of the Ocean Forest Club, the Sea Island Club in Sea Island, GA and the Saturn Club in Buffalo, NY; and was for many years a member of the Buffalo Tennis and Squash Club, the Country Club of Buffalo, and the Conanicut Yacht Club in Jamestown, RI.

Besides his charitable work, Tom’s particular passions were jazz, international travel and wine collecting. Tom’s jazz music collection was legendary, his knowledge of musicians and songs encyclopedic and he had a special appreciation of the music of Oscar Peterson and Count Basie, both of whom he saw perform live numerous times.

Tom was an exceptional California wine aficionado and collector, with a highly refined palate and a detailed knowledge of wineries, varietals and vintages. He was particularly generous with his donations of wine to local charitable organizations, both in Buffalo and Sea Island.

Tom was also an avid sportsman, playing interscholastic hockey and baseball and after high school was scouted for a Philadelphia Phillies farm team. He continued to play golf and tennis all his life. Tom and Penny also traveled all over the world, frequently on Albright Knox Art Gallery trips, and were also ambassadors for the United States for many years on People to People tennis tours.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 21, 2015, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Avenue, in Buffalo, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the SPCA Serving Erie County, Buffalo, NY or the St. Simon’s Land Trust, St. Simon’s Island, GA. A memorial service will also be held at Christ Church, St. Simon’s Island, GA, at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 21, 2015


Thomas Radcliffe Flickinger

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jim Lester

November 21, 2015

Burt III, I want to extent my condolences on your loss. Peace and love,

November 19, 2015

Many fond memories from the tennis and squash will always be with me...a nice man that did many things and touched many hearts! Condolences to all family and friends.

November 18, 2015

Very sorry for your loss. May the "God of all comfort" bring you peace during this difficult time. 2 Cor 1:3;

Bobbi and Nick Schaus

November 18, 2015

Tom has been in our thoughts and prayers, our love and sympathy to you, Phoebe, and all the Raymonds. We wish we could be there for the service.
Bobbi and Nick

Mary Raymond

November 18, 2015

I miss you, Uncle Tom! I'm so glad I was able to see you at Riven Rock!

Donna Albrecht

November 17, 2015

My thoughts and prayers are with the Flickenger family .