Leroy Gilbert Fick was born on September 27, 1927 in Bleiberville, Texas and passed away on May 31, 2005 in Houston, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Wanda Fick of Conroe; sons, Mark Fick and wife Brooke, Terry Fick and wife, Janet, all of Montgomery; sisters, Elsie Zalesky of Houston and Otillia Franke of West Virginia; grandchildren, Benjamin Fick and wife Keri of Austin, Amy Swanson and husband Tim of Montgomery, Collins Dyer-Pitts and fiancé Matthew Haynie of Montgomery, Walker and Virginia Fick of Montgomery; great grandchildren Hayley, Hannah, and Leroy Fick of Austin, Emily, Ally, and Ella Swanson of Montgomery. Numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends survive.
During World War II, Leroy Fick worked at Brown Shipyard in Houston as a welder, working at night and attending school during the day. After that, Leroy served in the Merchant Marines during World War II, where he had a chance to see numerous distant and exotic places. One of his assigned ships was the U. S. S. Eagle, a square rigged sailing vessel, which is still sailing today. He also served on various Liberty ships. After the war, Leroy was given the opportunity to ride in a German army staff car and toured parts of war torn Russia.
After coming home, Leroy made his living as a carpenter, a skill he learned from his father and grandfather, until he volunteered for the U. S. Army during the Korean War and served from 1950 to 1952. Following basic training, Leroy volunteered to be a member of the U.S. Army Rangers (10th Ranger Infantry Company) and then the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. He received training for both of these at Fort Benning, Georgia, becoming a member of the first Airborne Ranger outfit in its history. Afterward, Leroy went to Korea where his Ranger Company was involved in numerous dangerous, high-risk operations, many of which were behind enemy lines. While in combat, Leroy earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. He was most proud of his Combat Infantryman Badge earned by those infantrymen who satisfactorily perform their duties and are personally present and under fire, engaged in sustained active ground combat.
Leroy earned the Silver Star when he was behind enemy lines during an action near Kaesong, Korea, then as a member of the1st Ranger Company. Leroy took command of his unit when the commanding lieutenant was severely wounded. Leroy, with the help of another soldier, carried him for 17 miles back to the U. S. lines (the Kansas line), not knowing if he was alive or dead. Leroy left the Army at the rank of Sergeant 1st Class.
After leaving the Army, Leroy worked in construction first as a carpenter and then a builder in Houston and Conroe where he raised his family. He built many homes and commercial buildings and established a solid reputation for his extensive knowledge of construction. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed the outdoors, especially the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Leroys grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a special joy to him. Leroy believed in and lived commitment, both to his family and to his country that he so loved. He believed in eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Visitation for Leroy Fick, 77, is scheduled for Monday, June 6, 2005 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Cashner Funeral Home in Conroe. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2005 at 1:00 PM at the First Christian Church of Conroe with Dr. Wes Morgan officiating. Interment will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), 1621 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington D.C. 20009, or at TAPS.org.