Mrs. Martha Abney Fricks, age 82, of Vinings Drive, Rome, GA, passed away at her home with her husband and two sons by her side early Friday morning February 17, 2012.
Mrs. Fricks was born on May 5th, 1929 in Lafayette, GA. She was number eight of ten children born to the late William Luther Abney and Maude Victoria Williams Abney, all in Lafayette, GA. She was also preceded in death by four brothers; Ross Abney, Dennis Abney, W.L. Abney, Jr. and Ray Abney and three sisters Blanch Kimball, Mary Ella Smith and Fredia Poole.
Mrs. Fricks married William M. (Bill) Fricks on July 23rd, 1949 who declares as how fortunate he was when Martha's early nursing profession brought her to Floyd Hospital where they met and fell in love immediately. Survivors include two sons; Greg and Rob and one step daughter, Marsha Underwood, and two sisters; Myra Wilhelm, and Virginia Ezell both of LaFayette. They have nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Greg and his wife Ramona have four children – Rie Rie Rubadue of Kennesaw, Will of Marietta, and Grier and Garret of Rome. Rob and his wife Tami have three children – Bo, Abney and Mathis all of Perry, GA. Marsha has two children, Ashley and Trey of Atlanta and Albany.
Martha was educated in Lafayette public schools, attended Middle GA College, Oglethorpe University, Baroness Erlanger School of Nursing, Chicago School of Interior Design and LaSalle University. She served as a nurse for Dr. Ralph Davis, and Dr. Walter Pendly. She later served as a Deputy Tax Commissioner for Floyd County and in 1967 she and her husband established Bill Fricks Furniture, Inc. June 3rd 1967.
Martha loved Rome, GA and the desire to have it known as the best city in the Southeast prompted her to become a leading community volunteer. For Martha the word "no" was never part of her vocabulary. Beginning in the early 50's Martha served as a volunteer Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, directed and choreographed water ballets in Rome and other cities in GA., and was cheerleading coach for the mite football program at the Boy's Club. Martha's talent for working with the production of special events first became evident when she served on the board of directors for the Rome-Floyd YMCA
for four years. Described as a loyal, hard working board member she used her position as president of Stem Yinders to create enthusiasm for the YMCA's first membership drive. After a trip to British Columbia, she brought back a vision of creating a lighted boat parade to showcase Rome's rivers. In 1986 she originated, developed and orchestrated "Coosa River Christmas." As the event coordinator for ten years, she recruited sponsors, participants and volunteers to successfully produce the event. Serving as chairperson for five years of the "Silver Fox Trot" event for Mayfest on the Rivers she organized activities for several hundred senior citizens as well as organizing volunteers for the three day event. During the Olympic Flag Transfer event in Rome, Martha spent countless hours planning and recruiting over 450 volunteers to assist several thousand participants at the event. When the Olympics arrived in Rome she was called to duty once again to serve on the board of directors and hospitality chairman for the RACE to the 1996 Commission. Additionally, she assumed the responsibility of organizing the volunteer force to run Festa Roma, Rome's 19 day Olympic Festival. As co-owner of Fricks Furniture and being an interior decorator, her support of Rome's downtown improvement development projects were evident as a board member of PRIDE. Her spirit of volunteerism has been recognized on two occasions. In 1994 Governor Zell Miller recognized her act of volunteerism with the Olympic Force Medal of Honor and in 1996 the Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration selected her as a finalist for the Individual Leaders. In addition to numerous interior design distinctions, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce Women in Management Excellence named her as finalist.
Mrs. Fricks' interment will take place at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. Monday February 20, 2012 at 11:00 A.M. A service for Mrs. Fricks will then be conducted at St. Peters Episcopal Church, Rome, Monday February 20, 2012 at 1:00 P.M. with Dr. Donald G. Black and Rev. Janice Bracken Wright officiating. The family will receive friends after the 1:00 service in Daniel Hall at St. Peters Episcopal Church. Flowers will be accepted or memorial contributions may be made to Heyman Hospice P.O. Box 163 Rome, GA. 30162-0163.
Daniel's Funeral Home has charge of the funeral arrangements.