Mary Elizabeth Fike
Mary Elizabeth Fike
  • October 2, 1919 - December 5, 2017
  • Atlanta, Georgia

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FIKE, Mary Elizabeth (nee Newman), passed away peacefully at age 98 in her home surrounded by those she loved. She is survived by her son, William (Bill), daughter-in-law Jean Fike-Chin and grandson John (Jack), all of Atlanta. She was born on October 2nd, 1919, in Waco Georgia, to Oscar William Newman and Freida (Entriken) Newman. To the end of her long life she had happy memories of growing up in Haralson County, where her father and brothers hunted quail and she rode horses “as often as not, without a saddle”. She worked for many years in management at the Hubbard Pants Company of Bremen, Georgia. In 1956 she married Elwyn (Ed) Fike of Atlanta and they moved in the Tuxedo Apartments at the corner of Roswell and Habersham Roads. Her only child, her son Bill, was born the next year, and in 1962 the family moved into the home she and Ed had built on Jett Road, near Chastain Park. She would live there for the next 41 years, raising their son and running the house. She was very active at The Lovett School during Bill’s 12 years there, and once he was older she became the office manager for Ed’s company, The Atlas Engineering and Manufacturing Company. After Bill left home, she and Ed traveled extensively, both across North America, from the Artic to Panama, and overseas, with numerous trips to Europe and Asia. One memorable trip was a month spent in China in 1983. Ireland and the Philippines were favorite destinations, and they made a number of trips to both countries. A number of Christmases were spent in England during Bill’s years at university there, and later she and Ed took frequent trips to Montana and Wyoming where Bill worked for many years. She enjoyed hiking, horseback riding, and even took up cross country skiing in her early 70s in Wyoming. Ed died in 1999, and in 2003 she began dividing her time between the cabin she and Ed built on Lake Burton and the home of Bill’s family on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Over the next 10 years she spent more and more time on Bainbridge, and in 2005 she built a small house beside the home of Bill’s family there. She was as active on Bainbridge as she had been in Atlanta, quilting at Port Madison Lutheran Church, volunteering at the Senior Center until she was over 90, and driving her grandson Jack to school until he was in Fifth grade and she was 93. In 2013 Bill and his family moved to Atlanta and she moved back here full time. Her last visit to Bainbridge Island was in March 2016, at age 96. After getting off the plane from the long flight back across the country she announced “I think that is the last time I need to fly”, and her subsequent travel was limited to frequent drives to Lake Burton and occasional trips back to Haralson County. In her last years in Atlanta she was still active; attending Lifespan Academy, based at Trinity Presbyterian Church, and quilting on Mondays with the group at her church, Redeemer Lutheran on Peachtree Street. A lifelong walker, she was walking daily until a few months before her death; a lifelong optimist, she was still cheerful on the morning of her death. Generous and loving throughout her life, her last words to her family beside her: “I love you”. A memorial service will be held Friday, December 16, 2017, 1:00 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Atlanta. The family will receive guests one hour prior to the service at 12:00 p.m.