Dwight Russell Fickling

March 18, 1929April 15, 2021

Dwight Russell Fickling of Greensboro, N.C., died at home April 15, 2021. Dwight was born March 18, 1929, in Badin, N.C., the only child of Russell A. Fickling and Izzie G. Fickling of Badin, N.C. He was educated in the public schools of Badin, N.C., and at Catawba College, Appalachian State University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the School of Medical Technology-Cone Hospital.

Dwight enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948 for three years, but liked to say that he served “four years on a three-year enlistment,” having one year added because of the outbreak of hostilities in Korea. His duty stations, after basic training plus Hospital Corps School in San Diego, California, were: U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, N.C., and the then-named U.S. Army Chemical Corps facility at what was then called Camp Detrick, Frederick, Maryland.

Dwight also “calculated” that, including using education and/or training and the like, that he had three “careers”: choir director and education staff at Pageland Baptist Church in Pageland, S.C., while a seminary student, and later Baptist campus minister (at East Carolina University, then UNC-G); public school teacher (in Belmont, N.C., and after campus ministry work, as earth science teacher at Kiser Jr. High in Greensboro); and then following an interest sparked during his Navy service, medical technologist (at what was then Roche Biomedical Laboratories in Burlington, N.C.). Upon returning home from the Navy to finish college at Catawba, he met his future wife Frances Kerley. They married in March 1954, and began a long and eventful partnership while raising a daughter and a son. They made lifelong friends during seminary days, and added “summer children” when leading summer missions teams of college students under the Baptist State Convention while Dwight was a campus minister. When they moved to Greensboro in 1967, they joined First Baptist Church and quickly became active in many church activities as a family.

While a member of FBCGSO, and of other previous congregations, Dwight taught/led numerous Bible studies and served on various different committees. One ministry of special affinity for him is the Piedmont International Fellowship – a ministry to, with and for college and university students from abroad studying in the Greater Greensboro Area.

Dwight’s eclectic interests had him dabbling for several years at a time in activities that often did not quite rise to the level of hobby. He was newsletter editor for a local gem and mineral club; he raised bees at two different properties until he learned he was allergic to their stings; he worked crossword puzzles to keep his mind sharp, right up until his last days; he prided himself on catching typos or poor grammar in newspaper headlines and stories; and enjoyed a good guffaw whenever phonetic spellings in TV closed captioning produced a new “word.”

Dwight was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws Mack L. Kerley and Myra Benfield Kerley, of Stony Point, N.C. He leaves behind his wife of 67 years, Frances; daughter Amy L. Fickling, of Germantown, Maryland; son Timothy D. Fickling and his wife Susan, of Ahwahnee, California; brother-in-law Benny M. Kerley and his wife Dorothy, of Stony Point, N.C.; grandchildren James Fickling in Ohio, and Eddie, Bekah, Lizah and Jessah Fickling in California; nephews Wesley Kerley and wife Sharon in North Charleston, S.C., and Jon Kerley and wife Banet in Stony Point, N.C. Cousins in South Carolina include those in his mother’s family and those descending from his father’s 10 siblings. A cohort of “summer children” and their children and grandchildren, along with the children and grandchildren of lifelong friends also are considered family.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Thursday April 22, 2021. Burial will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 23, 2021, at Fairview Cemetery, 1425 E. West Main Street, Albemarle, N.C. A memorial service will be held at a later date at First Baptist Church, Greensboro.

For anyone wishing to honor Dwight by supporting a ministry dear to his heart, the family suggests “Youth Missions” at First Baptist Church, 1000 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27401 and Piedmont International Fellowship, 205 North Westgate Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, April 22, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Friday, April 23, 2021


Dwight Russell Fickling

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jean (Wise) Robinson

April 24, 2021

Frances, I vividly remember when you and Dwight both taught at
Belmont High School. I was the office secretary and had been since I graduated in 1951. A new high school was built on South Point Road and eventually named South Point High. I moved there and remained until August 1, 1988 when I retired.
My first husband died in June, 1979 from a sudden heart attack.
I remarried in May, 1989 and moved to Lake Norman. My second husband died in August, 2016 and I am still in the house we had built.
I have a daughter who lives in Belmont and a son who lives in Ringgold, GA. Each of them have a son and daughter and my son has a granddaughter.
My address is 1071 Gamecock Ln., Denver, NC, 28037.
Sincere sympathy at Dwight's death.

Denton Benfield

April 24, 2021

Anytime I would think of Dwight, I would always picture him with that smile which would encompass his entire face. He always seemed to have a joke, or riddle, or nugget of irony to share. He was a good and kind man. May he Rest In Peace, and may Francis find peace in the knowledge that she was always there for him.

Naomi Neal

April 21, 2021

My condolence to Mrs. Fickling and her family. Working with you at Hampton Elementary was a Joy.

Randy Showstack

April 21, 2021

We are so saddened to learn of the passing of Dwight Fickling. Our hearts go out to all of the family in this time of sorrow, and our thoughts and prayers are with you. With our heartfelt condolences from the Society of Professional Journalists Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter, on which Amy Fickling serves as an honored board member and officer.

Hazel Jones

April 21, 2021

I was sorry to hear of Dwight's passing. You have my prayers of comfort. I knew Dwight through NCRSP(NC Retired School Personnel. He was a kind and an active member.

Cliff Lowery

April 21, 2021

Flooded with memories of good times at First Baptist Church on Wednesdays and Sundays and Piedmont International Fellowship events with Dwight. He was an inspiration and guiding light. I will miss him. His memory is a blessing!

Jan Jsmes

April 19, 2021

Dwight was a kind and caring gentle man. My family thought to world of him.
The family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Mike and Jan

Rebecca Felton

April 17, 2021

My husband, Elbert Felton and I spent the first summer of our marriage in Dwight and Frances' home in Greenville, NC. They were on a mission trip and Elbert was filling in as BSU Chaplain for the summer. It was a wonderful summer for us and we moved from there to Louisville where Elbert attended Southern Seminary. The BSU at East Carolina was a place of learning, fellowship and support for Elbert during his years there and the Ficklings have been treasured mentors and friends during the years. I lost Elbert six years ago and understand the difficulty that comes with losing a spouse, parent and friend and my prayers are with the Fickling family.