Obituary for Willard (Bill) Paul Fike Jr.
April 10, 1928 - November 8, 2017
Willard “Bill” P. Fike, Jr., 89, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many passed away November 8, 2017 from complications due to Parkinson’s disease at his home in Medford. He had recently been visited by his three daughters and their families so all had an opportunity to express their love for each other.
Bill was born April 10, 1928 in Wooster, Ohio to Willard P. and Thelma Mae Fike. While growing up he was very involved in many sports and was elected captain of his football team. He graduated from Wooster High School in 1946 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Bill served in the Seabees and was stationed on Guam until 1948. He took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in botany. While at Miami he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Bill and his loving wife, Charleen, met in botany class while at Miami. They married June 21, 1952 in Victor, New York and were married for 65 years at the time of his death. Bill was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Medford. A lifelong Presbyterian, he had served as Trustee (Deacon) and Elder in previous churches.
Bill began his working career at the Ohio Experiment Station in Wooster, Ohio. In 1957 he was hired by Jackson and Perkins Rose Growers of Newark, N.Y. as a horticulturist. In 1969 Bill was asked to transfer to Medford when Jackson and Perkins was purchased by Bear Creek Corporation. He retired in 1989 having worked in horticulture for 37 years.
His joys in life were his family, home, and all things of nature. He loved the great outdoors and his hobbies all reflected that love. Fishing, hiking, camping, golf, and birding were among his favorite pastimes. He was also a fine carpenter and enjoyed woodworking, spending countless hours in his shop creating pieces of furniture for family members.
Bill and Charleen took their daughters on many camping trips in many different states including the Adirondack Mountains of New York; Bar Harbor, Maine; camping out each night across the country on their 3,000 mile move to Oregon; Wallowa Mountains of Oregon; and the Oregon coast. After retirement they enjoyed traveling to foreign countries including Australia, Kenya, Costa Rica, Vietnam, and Egypt, as well as several countries in Europe while on concert tours with the Rogue Valley Chorale.
He was a man of many interests and was noted for his dry wit. His outlook on life was always positive and pleasant, and remained so despite his long illness.
Survivors include his wife, Charleen; daughters, Rebecca Naumann (Donald), Melinda Fike (Gary McCutcheon), and Jennifer Goodman (Michael); and granddaughters, Elizabeth Naumann, and Lillian, Evelyn, and Violet Goodman.
A memorial service is scheduled at 3 p.m. Friday, December 1, 2017 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood Drive. Reverend Lori Boehning will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to Guide Dogs for the Blind, P.O. Box 3950, San Raphael, CA 94912-3950 or www.guidedogs.com.