Rosa Amanda "Amy" Fike (nee Drake), of Encinitas, CA passed away peacefully and surrounded by her family on March 11, 2023, one month shy of her 104th birthday.
Amy was born on April 17th, 1919 to Jesse and Fannie Lou Drake in Union Springs, Alabama, the only girl among four brothers. She graduated from High School early and attended Auburn University, studying English literature and earning her teaching credential. Amy had moved to New York when the United States joined the war effort and she enlisted in the Coast Guard, after which she was transferred to Washington D.C. and eventually she served in Hawaii. By the end of the war, she had earned the rank of Lieutenant.
After her service during WWII, Amy moved to Durham, N.C. to pursue her Masters Degree in English Literature at Duke University, where she met her husband to be, Edward L. FIke, who was head of Public Relations for the University. He was thereafter transferred to Paris, France to serve with the U.S. delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) during its early formation and they became engaged and married during this period, spending their first year of marriage in Paris.
They eventuslly returned stateside to Rocky Mount, N.C. where Ed had purchased a newspaper. Pursuing his dream of owning local newspapers, Ed and Amy later bought newspapers in and moved to Montana, Manhattan Beach and later Tujunga. Ed eventually sold his newspapers and moved into the position of Editor of the Editorial Pages of the San Diego Union, where they settled in 1970. During the course of these years, they welcomed four daughters: Rosa, Evelyn, Amy and Melinda.
Besides managing a busy household and supporting her husband's career. Amy worked as a teacher, librarian and administrative manager of the records department for the City of San Diego, before her eventual retirement, after which she Amy served on the San Diego County Grand Jury. She and Ed stayed busy with local community efforts and social events, which included being in the first group to organize and support efforts to bring the Midway Museum to the S.D. harbor and being honored by HUBBS-SeaWorld Research Institute, among many other pursuits. After Ed's retirement, they moved to Stanford where Ed served as a fellow at the Hoover Institute. These were happy years and they traveled extensively and continued to enjoy an active social life.
Amy was a remarkable poet; an expert grammarian and she continued to pursue her intellectual interests in literature through her love of reading. She is remembered by all as a gentle lady, an original “Southern Belle,” a woman of beauty and strength and a quick wit, but always a calm presence to her friends and family. She was endowed with the strength, fortitude and faith to face the adversities of the 20th century and beyond. She and Ed were both raised as Methodists and were long time members of the First United Methodist Church of San Diego.
Ed passed away in 2011 and Amy is survived by her four daughters (Rosa Stevenson of Encinitas, CA, Evelyn Chapin of Atascadero, CA, Amy Peters of Carlsbad, CA and Melinda Vertin of Darby, MT), ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
She was deeply loved and will be missed by all. Below is the last stanza of one of her many poems that expressed her outlook on life:
The summer I thought, was a timeless time,
An embarrassment of riches to spend.
I spent them all in profligate style,
But in spending I saved for the end.
Memorial Service at The Trotter Chapel at First United Methodist Church of San Diego, 2111 Camino del Rio S., San Diego, CA 92108 on 4/21 @ 1:00 P.M., reception to follow.