The Olive Tree
Barbara Ekemsky Hikel, died Oct. 6, 2005, at home, attended by her family. She was 81. The cause was cancer. She was born Sept. 25, 1924, in Augusta, to Daniel and Mary Ekemsky, who were immigrants from Ukraine and Poland. She graduated from Cony High School in Augusta, in 1942 and from Gates Business School, also in Augusta. Barbara was active in many community activities, including the School Board, SIECUS and the Girl Scouts, while raising six children. In 1976, after moving to Orono, she worked in conferences management at the Holiday Inn in Bangor and at the Samoset Resort, in Rockport. In 1981, she went to work for the University of Maine, where she served in diverse positions, notably as financial manager of Research and Graduate Studies, until her retirement in 2000. The University community was dear to her heart; she served on many committees, notably the President's Athletic Advisory Board, the President's Council of Retired Employees and the Combined Charitable Appeals for University Employees, where she led a record-breaking drive for contributions. She was known on campus for "telling it like it is," and for promoting the status of women on campus throughout her long affiliation there. Barbara Hikel is survived by her husband, Rudy, a long standing Friend and former staff member at Fogler Library, and by their children and their partners, Katharine Hikel and Walter Breck, of Hinesburg, Vt., Joy Hikel, of Skowhegan, Barbara and James McCree, of Glenburn, Elizabeth Jewell and Marilyn McClain, of Carrboro, N.C., Jake Hikel of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and Dan Hikel and Deana Schrindl of Truckee, Calif.
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