Lynne Alice Ficken died Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, at Sterling House in Middleton, Wis.
She was born March 8, 1923, in Kansas City, Mo., and was adopted shortly after by Alice and William Huse of Burlington, Wis. (Recent years have revealed that her biological parents were LaVersa Miller and Gordon Hueghens of Pontiac, Ill.) As Alice and William's beloved only child, Lynne grew up with all of the benefits and pleasures of small-town life in a simpler time. She had close childhood friends, loved to ride horses, and became an accomplished swimmer. When she was in high school, Robert Loren Ficken's family moved to Burlington - he became the love of her life, and with their marriage in 1945, her husband for 64 years.
After graduating from the UW-Madison, Lynne followed Bob, now a navigator in the World War II, U.S. Army Air Corps, to postings in Texas and Washington state. When the war ended, Lynne and Bob moved to temporary housing on the Madison campus, where daughter Janet was born in 1947, and then to Milwaukee for a short while and then back to Madison, where daughter Judy was born in 1950.
For most of their lives, they lived at 5 Hiawatha Circle, where they made many friends and contributed to a rich community life. When their daughters were young, Lynne kept their home and raised their family (and cared for her aging mother Alice) while Bob worked in the family service station business. Later, Lynne was a program assistant for 17 years in the UW Department of Environmental Studies (now the Nelson Institute), where she throve in the busy academic atmosphere of faculty and students.
Among her personal interests, Lynne was a superb cook (once Madison Metropolitan Gourmet Club president), devoured the better class of murder mysteries (especially Agatha Christie), and delighted in fast cars (including a classic Art Deco Lincoln Zephyr, a snazzy blue Ford Fairlane convertible with skirts, and a then cutting-edge Ford Mustang). Lynne will be remembered by all privileged to know her as a woman of great accomplishment - well spoken, witty, refined, elegant, and cosmopolitan, yet a warm and kind friend, and a devoted and loving wife and mother.
Lynne is survived by daughters, Janet and Judy; son-in-law, Larry Hubbard; and granddaughters, Elle (fiancé Aaron Ruesch) and Anna (husband Francisco Aldana).
Lynne's family is grateful to the staffs of Sterling House of Middleton, and of Agrace HospiceCare of Madison for the extraordinary care and kindness she received at her life's close.
Donations in memory of Lynne can be made to the Agrace Foundation (www.agrace.org; 5395 E Cheryl Pkwy, Madison, WI 53711) so that others may also benefit.