The Ottumwa Courier


April 16, 2012

Gertrude Mae Fike, 77, Ottumwa

OTTUMWA — Gertrude Mae Fike, 77, of Ottumwa, died April 13, 2012, at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

She was born Oct. 4, 1934, in Pella to Antonie and Anna Sarah Rhykoek Sels. She married Kenneth O. Fike June 13, 1952, in Corinth, Miss.

Gertrude graduated from Pella High School in 1952 and traveled west. After marrying Kenneth, they settled in San Francisco later that year. She and Kenneth raised a family of four in the City by the Bay. Upon Kenneth's death in 1970, she made the decision to relocate the family to Ottumwa.

In 1955, she started a long-term employment relationship with AT&T, retiring in 1988.

In Ottumwa, Gertrude served in a leadership capacity with the Communications Workers of America Union, serving many years as treasurer and steward. Gertrude was an active member of the Mid-West Telephone Pioneers, League of Women Voters, the Ottumwa Hospital Auxiliary and the Order of the Amaranth.

When she found a break in her schedule, she would make week-long visits to St. Louis, keeping her four grandchildren happy visiting venues like the St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, the City Museum and the Arch.

Survivors include two sons, Robert Fike of Ottumwa and Stephen (Jeanne) Fike of Chesterfield, Mo.; four grandchildren; two brothers, David (Sarah) Sels and Fred (Betty) Sels; one sister, Mary Ann (Jim) Wallace; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; a son, Dennis; a daughter, Catherine; her parents, Antonie and Anna; and her brother, Pete.

Her body has been cremated.

Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Robertson-Jay Funeral Home; with Rev. Bill Hornback officiating. Burial will be at a later time.

No visitation is planned.

Honorary pallbearers are grandchildren, Gail, Tim, Anita and Rachel Fike.

Memorials may be made to League of Women Voters or Amaranth Diabetes Research.

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