Millicent ‘Penny’ Ficken (nee Sigler), 86

Millicent ‘Penny’ Ficken (nee Sigler), 86

Millicent “Penny” Ficken (nee Sigler) of Grafton, passed away on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at the age of 86 years. She was born on July 27, 1933 in Washington, D.C. Penny is survived by her brother, children, grandchildren, great-grandchild, other relatives and many friends. Penny’s love of the natural world, particularly birds, started in childhood, fueled by encouragement from her parents and extensive travel resulting from her father’s military assignments. Before attending college she went to schools in DC, VA, IL, OR, LA, PR and MI. She received a B.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. In 1967 she was hired as a faculty member by UWM in the Dept. of Zoology (later Dept. of Biological Sciences) and Director of the UWM Field Station. Her research focused on the complex acoustic communication systems of chickadees and hummingbirds, and she was the author of more than 100 scientific papers. She was the first woman elected a Fellow of both the American Ornithological Society and the Animal Behavior Society. After retirement in 1999 she continued pursuing scientific studies. She liked to travel, with frequent trips to Latin America, and also enjoyed watching birds in her yard in Grafton, reading and nature photography.

Special thanks to Diane Bernier of Home Instead and Dr. Attanasio of Aurora. A memorial Service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Riveredge Nature Center or The Nature Conservancy.

Mueller Funeral Home is serving the family and can be reached at 262-377-0380.

Recommended for you