Captain William Joseph Aicklen, Jr. USN Retired, 93, Crestview Hills, Kentucky passed away peacefully on May 1, 2018. Captain Aicklen or ‘Captain A,’ as he was affectionately known, lived a life of service: to his country, his family and community. He was both a Southern gentleman and a Naval Officer with a deep and devoted love for his wife Margot. He developed a lifelong fondness for Dixieland Jazz, stamp collecting, black Labradors and a well-made cocktail. Captain A’s modest confidence, strong leadership skills, sense of humor, discipline and work ethic set the example for his five children and 15 grandchildren. He was a natural leader throughout his life culminating in a stellar Naval Career.
Born in New Orleans and raised in Galveston, Texas, Captain A entered the United States Naval Academy during World War II and graduated with the class of 1947. His Naval career included serving as a gunnery officer on the Battleship USS New Jersey (BB 62) during the Korean conflict. He commanded the USS Corry (DD-817) at the height of the Cold War, while also serving as the Commanding Officer of the USS Puget Sound, USS Duval County and the USS Ranier (a rare accomplishment to command four ships). On land, he commanded Naval Beach Group 2, served as a staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and taught seamanship at the US Naval Academy. His leadership style made a lasting impression on all those who were fortunate to serve with him.
After retiring from active service in 1973, the Captain moved to Mt Sterling, Kentucky to establish and lead Montgomery County High School’s Navy Junior ROTC program. He impacted the community and lives of many young people who now had a pathway and example of service to country. From there, he held jobs in Houston and Louisville before fully retiring to Crescent Springs, Kentucky to be near children and grandchildren. Captain A volunteered and served as a Board member at Be Concerned, was involved in the city of Crescent Springs, worked in his garden and focused on his Catholic faith. During his retirement he was renowned for his smile and kindness to his friends and family, and his devotion to his dogs.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 67 years Margot Fortier Aicklen.
He is survived by his sister. Isabell Clemens, Erie, PA; his sons, William F. Aicklen (Helen), Atlanta, GA; Robert S. Aicklen (Trish), Dallas, TX; Andrew J. Aicklen (Paula), Oakville, Ontario; Donald N. Aicklen (Karen), Cincinnati, OH and daughter Frances M. Akin (Mark), Edgewood, KY; 15 grandchildren and 7 great Grandchildren.
Visitation will at Middendorf Funeral Home, Ft. Wright on Monday, May 7 from 5:30 - 6:30. Mass at St Joseph Catholic Church, Crescent Springs on Tuesday, May 8 at 11:00 followed by a Military Burial at Spring Grove Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Be Concerned, 1100 W Pike St, Covington, KY 41011 www.beconcerned.org or to Bluegrass Care Navigators, 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504 w ww.bgcarenav.org.