Charles Neil Licking, 79, of Lexington, Nebraska passed away on Sunday, April 9, 2023 at the Bickford of Lincoln Assisted Living.
On October 6, 1943 Charles Neil Licking (Charlie) was born in North Platte, NE to Clyde Loren and Vera Mae (Cook) Licking while his father was stationed in North Platte as a Federal Game Agent. Charlie was baptized in the First Christian Church in North Platte at age 11. Clyde's health required him to resign from the Game Commission and move his family to the small ranch he had bought southeast of Seneca, NE in spring 1946.
While growing up in the Sandhills on the ranch, he and his two sisters (one older and one his twin) attended local rural schools and Mullen Public Schools. After graduating from Mullen High School in 1961, Charlie entered the University of Nebraska, majoring in Beef Cattle Production, graduating January 1966.
Following graduation, he went home to help his father and soon received the details of his military obligation. He volunteered for duty in the U.S. Army, entering in June 1966. Upon graduation from Officer Candidate School (OCS), he received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in May 1967.
While attending college, he met Marilyn Kay Filbert, whom he later married on April 13, 1968 while on leave from his assignment in Germany. They returned to Germany, but he had to come home earlier than expected due to his father's failing health. While on the ranch, he served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of 2 statewide cattlemen's organizations and was elected to serve 2 terms on the Thomas County Board of Commissioners.
There was no local Lutheran church in the nearby town of Thedford, so the couple attended services at the Methodist Church in Mullen. A Lutheran Mission congregation was started in Thedford by the LCMS and a church moved from Callaway for their use. The men of the congregation assisted with the work of setting up the church, and in 1974 the couple joined Trinity Lutheran Church of Thedford with their growing family.
Two children blessed this marriage; daughter Kimberly (Kim) and a son Christopher (Chris) both of whom were baptized in Mullen before the Thedford church was built. In the Army he had injured his back and after 12 years he was forced to leave his beloved ranch and the Sandhills. He and his family moved to Lexington, NE in the spring of 1981.
After moving to Lexington, the family joined Trinity Lutheran Church there where Charlie served in various offices including several terms as Chairman of the congregation and an Elder for many years. He played the role of Simon the Zealot in the original cast of the Easter Pageant "The Last Supper" put on by the local congregation and for many continuing performances until his last time in 2018. While in Trinity Lutheran, Lexington, he also was a member of the church choir, bell choir, and led Adult Bible Class for many years as well as singing solos and special music for weddings and funerals.
Charlie's primary source of rest and relaxation were hunting (especially elk) and walking in rugged terrain with a pair of binoculars enjoying the beauty of wildlife in their natural environment and "the beauty the Good Lord created".
Survivors include his wife Marilyn of almost 55 years, daughter Kimberly Licking of Lincoln, NE, son Chris (and wife Ami) of Lacey, WA, granddaughter Jasmine of Lacey, WA; twin sister Charlotte (and husband Terry) Renner of Kearney, NE, nieces and nephews and a host of friends and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents (Clyde & Vera), his wife's parents (David & Marie), sister Virginia French and brother-in-law Albert.
Memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church, Lexington NE; LCMS Mission Central, 40718 Highway E16, Mapleton IA 51034; or American Diabetes Assn, 2451 Crystal Dr Ste 900, Arlington VA 22202.
A Celebration Of Life Service for Charles Neil Licking will be held on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lexington with Pastor Rob Kuefner, officiating.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com