HIGH POINT — Vera Floyd Fick passed peacefully and quietly on May 16, with her family by her side, four days shy of her 92nd birthday.
Vera is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Fick Shelby (Mark); and her son, William George Fick (Kristin); her grandchildren, Emma Shelby Salomon (Brian), Evan Cooper Shelby, Josephine Astrid Fick; her great-granddaughter, Daphne Violet Salomon; and her sister-in-law, Virginia Gunn Fick.
She was born at home in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 20, 1931. Vera described her childhood as idyllic and adventuresome, spent climbing trees and running from alligators, a good preparation for the life to come. After graduating from Andrew Jackson High School, she and her family moved to South Carolina. While in the church choir in Mount Pleasant, she was introduced to a young ex-Naval officer turned petroleum engineer, William George Fick, who had just returned from the Korean War. Soon thereafter, they were married.
Her life was a series of adventures. Seven months pregnant and knowing she would not be able to see her family for two years, she flew to the other side of the world to her new home, a remote oil field production camp in the Indonesian jungle. In Indonesia, she gave birth to her daughter, Carolyn, and six years later to her son, Bill. With few resources, she and her friends created their own fun, taking turns hosting dinner parties, one of her parties featuring a roasted wild pig garnished with orchids she foraged herself in the jungle.
In 1964, the Fick family moved across the globe to Venezuela, where they would spend the next 16 years. Here, Vera would learn to speak Spanish with a Southern drawl and form friendships that would last a lifetime.
In 1979, the family shifted to drier climes, to Saudi Arabia and Aramco, the national oil company. It was here that Vera’s decades of entertaining experience bore fruit: she became the Executive Director of Hamilton House, a guest house that hosted dignitaries ranging from oil company executives to the King of Saudi Arabia. She recalled this job as one of the best experiences of her life, affording her the chance for even more international travel as she sourced everything from furniture to specialty perfumes for the King.
When, at last, it was time for retirement, Vera and Will chose High Point, North Carolina, to settle down. Their home, beautifully appointed by Vera with treasures from all over the world, became the center of many gatherings and celebrations. She became a fixture of the High Point community, active in the Garden Club, Hospital Guild, Friends of the Library, Daughters of the American Revolution, and especially her beloved church, Wesley Memorial UMC.
Outgoing and embracing of other people, she was renowned for her sense of humor. She will be remembered for her sunny disposition; for knowing the name of every flower; for the armfuls of gifts she would bring to every celebration. To Vera, no one was a stranger, and she was friends with everyone. For all her adventures, Vera’s family was always at the center of her world.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Pennybyrn Resident Care Fund, where she and her late husband Will were cared for at the end of their lives by a ministry and staff who were as loving as family.
Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point is assisting the family.
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