Macon's Miss America Loses Battle with Cancer
Macon's Fickling family is mourning a loss of their own Sunday. Neva Jane Langley Fickling passed away after a battle with cancer. She was 79 years old.
The wife of Bill Fickling, Jr. was crowned Miss America in 1953 and still remains the only Miss Georgia to ever be crowned Miss America.
Neva was born in 1953 in Lakeland, Florida. Growing up, she became interested in classical music. As a sophomore in college, she transferred to Wesleyan College and studied piano. That same year, sponsors of the Miss Macon contest asked Wesleyan to offer some nominees for the pageant. At age 19, Neva was crowned Miss Macon, Miss Georgia and Miss America.
After a year of touring and crowning her successor, she returned to Wesleyan to continue her music studies and graduated in 1955.
During her senior year at Wesleyan, she married William A. Fickling, Jr. They raised 4 children in Macon as well as participating in community affairs.
Neva spent years serving on numerous boards gear towards organizations, institutions and volunteer services in Macon and central Georgia. She also founded the Georgia Women of Achievement, an annual award recognizing women of outstanding achievement in Georgia.
Memorial Services are scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Mulberry Street United Methodist Church, followed by a private burial.