Albert Francis Ike, Jr., 89, formerly of Athens, Georgia, and husband of the late Ruth Margaret Ike, died on Monday, April 25, 2022 at the White Oak Estates Nursing Home in Spartanburg, SC.
Born on July 18, 1932, in East Orange, NJ, to Albert Francis Ike, Sr., and Ruth Hildur Holmquist, Al enjoyed weekends with his family in Gladstone, NJ. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1954, Al went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Forest Soils from Cornell University. His graduate studies were followed with two years in the United States Army and a short tenure in Elkins, WV, as a researcher in the US Forest Service. In 1960, Al and his wife Ruth moved to Athens, GA, where he worked in a US Forest Service research lab on the campus of University of Georgia while completing a Ph.D. in Soil Science and Forestry at NC State University. Al joined the UGA faculty in the late sixties where he served as Associate Professor of Parks and Outdoor Recreation before being promoted to Associate Director of the Institute for Community and Area Development. He completed his long tenure at UGA as Associate Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. Al also served as Chairman of the Faculty of Environmental Ethics Certification program and co-authored Environmental Ethics and the Global Marketplace, an impactful book on the role of the global market as a socioeconomic institution for environmental change.
Al led a life of leadership and service. He was active in First Presbyterian Church of Athens where he also served as a Deacon and an Elder. He was active in Scouting and served as a Scoutmaster. Al had a sincere interest in environmental stewardship. He was on the Board of the Georgia Conservancy. He was a founding board member and Chair of both the Sandy Creek Nature Center and the Oconee River Land Trust. Albert served on the Jekyll Island Authority. However, Al’s deepest love was Little Cumberland Island where he and Ruth had a beautiful home and an eclectic group of friends. He served joyfully as a member of the LCI Board for many years, including terms as President and Chairman. One of Al’s greatest honors was being named the recipient of the Henry Meigs award for outstanding service to the Little Cumberland Island Association.
Al and Ruth were married July 7, 1956, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, NJ. Al is survived by his sister, Dorothea Farris and her husband Doug of Carbondale, CO, and by his sons: David Ike and wife Harriet of Spartanburg, SC, and Steven Ike and his wife Nancy of Dunwoody, GA. He is survived by his grandchildren: John David (Whitney Lane) of Durham, NC, Anna Elizabeth (Rusher Pope) of San Francisco, CA, Louis Hampton of New York, NY, Anders Downs (Eliza Cox) of Charlotte, NC, Barbara Greyson of New York, NY, and Amelia Margaret of Chattanooga, TN.
The family plans a memorial service and celebration for both Al and Ruth at a later date in Athens. As the COVID pandemic prevented us from honoring our mother, it seems only fitting that we would celebrate the beautiful lives of our parents together.
The family would like to thank the staff at White Oak Estates for their wonderful care. We also thank the SMC Heart Center staff and the Hospice team for their compassionate care and support.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sandy Creek Nature Center, 205 Old Commerce Rd., Athens, GA 30607 or www.sandycreeknaturecenter.inc.org ; the Oconee River Land Trust, 675 Pulaski St., Suite 2300, Athens, GA 30601 or www.oconeeriverlandtrust.org
Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel