Thursday, September 16, 2010

Billy L. Fikes 1928-2010

Billy LaVoyce Fikes (Spc. 7/US Army/Ret.), age 81, of Big Lake, Alaska, passed away September 10 at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Billy was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Virginia Ellen Burke Fikes (1935-2008), parents Marion Monroe Fikes and Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Collins Fikes, four brothers and one sister.

Mr. Fikes is survived by five children: Helen Hegener, Palmer, AK; Billy L. Fikes, Jr., Meadow Lakes, AK; Susan Patch, Deer Park, WA; Lewis M. Fikes, Big Lake, AK; and Sandra Fikes, Big Lake, AK. There are also numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mr. Fikes enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 12, 1946 and served until August 31, 1966 when he retired in Alaska and was honorably discharged at Ft Lewis, Washington. He was a veteran of the Occupation Forces in Japan and the Korean Military Advisory Group, and saw combat with the Second Infantry Division in the Korean War. Following his military career Mr. Fikes worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for the Alaska Railroad, Aerojet General (Sacramento, CA), and Bonneville Power Administration (Portland, OR). In 1974 he joined the staff of Data Center Corporation, (Los Angeles, CA) and progressed to Vice-President before retiring in 1980. Following his retirement the family moved to Tonasket, WA where they built a home and Bill enjoyed the cowboy life until returning to Alaska in 1988.

Mr. Fikes was active in veteran's organizations and was a Life member of VFW Post 9365, Wasilla; a Life member of AmVets Post 11, Wasilla; a member and past Post Chaplain of American Legion Post 35, Wasilla and a member of "40 et 8" Locale 816.He was a pioneer in the field of computer sciences and as an avid reader of science fiction helped turn those fantasies into reality through his work with the air and space industry and the early days of computer communications in the Army Signal Corps. Billy enjoyed traveling, and both during and after his military career he and Virginia traveled the world, sharing their love of fishing, prospecting for gold, and exploring each road less traveled that life presented them, always making sure that road led back to the family and places they loved so much.

A memorial for family and friends of Mr. Fikes is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Sunday Sept. 19th at VFW Post 9365 in Wasilla, with Post Chaplain Alex Kraft officiating. All are welcome. Interment with military honors is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20th at Fort Richardson National Cemetery, Ft. Richardson, AK. Pallbearers are Billy Fikes Jr., Lewis Fikes, William Fikes, Zeb Kraft, John Fee, and James Fee. Honorary pallbearers are MSgt. Douglas E. Patch (USAF/Ret.), Corporal Nicholas M. Kraft USMC, Alex Kraft, Tracy Kraft, Benjamin Kraft, Mark Hegener, Jody Hegener Cate, Christopher Hegener, Michael Hegener, and Shawn Skiles.