2018-02-08 / Obituaries

Phoebe Raymond Flickinger

Phoebe Raymond Flickinger, 83, of Sea Island, Ga., passed away peacefully Feb. 4, surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with cancer.

She leaves four children — Wendy F. Ross of Katonah, N.Y. and Jamestown, R.I., Geoffrey R. Flickinger of North Kingstown, R.I., Thomas R. Flickinger of Winnetka, Ill. and Holly F. Williams of Durham, N.C., as well as 13 grandchildren.

She was predeceased in 2015 by her husband of 61 years, Thomas R. Flickinger, who at the time of his retirement in 1985 was vice president of purchasing and director of quality assurance for S.M. Flickinger Co., a Buffalo-based food wholesaling and distribution company founded by his grandfather.

Phoebe, also known as Penny, was the daughter of Morris Thomas Raymond and Dorothy Cushing Raymond, and grew up with her four siblings Margaret, Whit, Dick and Carol on a farm in East Aurora, N.Y. during the Great Depression. She learned self-sufficiency at an early age, collecting eggs, walking 3 miles for milk from the neighbor’s dairy and sewing many of her own clothes, a skill she enjoyed throughout her life.

Her parents also purchased “Riven Rock,” the family summer home, in Jamestown in 1954, and Penny spent time with her extended family there every summer since, where she and her husband were longtime members of the Conanicut Yacht Club.

Penny graduated from The Park School of Buffalo, N.Y. and Colby Junior College (now Colby-Sawyer College) in New London, N.H. While in school, she was an accomplished actress and vocal performer in a number of operettas, and her favorite role was as Yum- Yum in The Mikado. Later, in a special charity production at the Studio Arena Theater in Buffalo, she brought the house down with her starring role as Crystal Allen in Clare Booth Luce’s landmark play, The Women.

Penny was deeply involved in charity work all her adult life, including trustee roles at the Studio Arena Theater and the Burchfield- Penney Arts Center, and longtime volunteer work for the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. For many years, Penny volunteered at Trinity Church in Buffalo and raised funds for the church running its very successful White Elephant sales. She also was on the Junior Board of the Buffalo General Hospital.

In the 1980s, she put her business skills to work in founding Panache, a women’s clothing distribution company that reflected her unique sense of style.

Perhaps her greatest passion later in life was her work as a trustee of the Star Foundation of Brunswick, Ga. Star utilizes computer training as the basis for teaching life skills, financial literacy and work-ready competences, as well as educating people to become self-sufficient contributing members of the southeast Georgia community.

Also a licensed interior decorator, Penny’s creative passions were most evident in her ability to create warm and gracious living spaces inside and outside her homes in Sea Island, Lorraine, Ontario and Buffalo. Her gardens were brilliantly planned, exquisitely maintained and almost always in bloom (even if one of her favorite quotes was “you should have been here last week.”)

Her interior design skills matched her outdoor expertise, with an exceptional sense of color and light that were particularly evidenced in her attention to space and detail in every room, and enhanced by her and Tom’s contemporary art collection, developed over more than 40 years.

But among all her accomplishments, she would put first and foremost was the special care she took to develop an individual relationship with each of her 13 grandchildren. She helped them cultivate their own interests and talents, but also instilled in each of them an understanding of the importance of ethics, etiquette and respect for others.

The family will have a small funeral service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at Christ Church, St. Simon’s Island, Ga., as well as a memorial service in Buffalo in May.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Penny’s name may be sent to The Star Foundation of Coastal Georgia Inc., 1907 Gloucester St., Brunswick, GA 31520.

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