Cecelia (Ce) Pike of Sperryville, Virginia, age 74, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 8th at the Blue Ridge Hospice Center in Winchester, Virginia, after a brief battle with cancer.
Born in Washington, DC to Grace and Elmer Oliver, Ce married Ray Pike in 1965, which this October would have been 55 years.
Ce graduated from George Washington High School, Alexandria, Virginia, and attended Strayer University in Washington, DC, from 1963-1965, earning a degree in Accounting, the same professional field as her father. One day while at Strayer, on her way to go ice skating, she stopped whom she thought was a friend, but it turned out to be another student, Ray Pike. Ray took one look at Ce, spotted the ice skates, and wisely invited himself along for the life-long adventure.
Ce joined The Optical Society (OSA), located in Washington, DC, in 1982 as the Technical Manager of Accounting. The organization was small, but over Ce’s 35+year tenure, she helped it grow into the global science and engineering society it is today. OSA is a 150 staff, USD $50M budgeted organization, connecting 395,000 professionals working in light science and technology. During Ce’s tenure, she supported a number of OSA members who were highly recognized on the world stage, including Nobel Prize winners for their work in lasers, fiber optics, spectroscopy, biophotonics and more. Even after retiring, Ce consulted back at OSA to prepare its annual tax returns. Ce was an accomplished financial and tax expert, and well respected by her colleagues and the members at large.
A lifelong fan of music, she filled the OSA’s accounting department with her passion for the sounds from the Phantom of the Opera and the voice of Michael Crawford. Ce was an avid reader of historical fiction, a lover of animals and all things purple. Ce always made her holidays special for her family and friends, and her German Chocolate Cake was world renowned.
Together, Ce and Ray devoted themselves to a life of service at Sperryville United Methodist Church. Each week Ce prepared the sanctuary and welcomed people to worship. She served both as Treasurer and as Lay Leader for many years, and she also volunteered at the Rappahannock Food Pantry since it opened in 2009, supporting those most in need. She had a passion for mission and organized the yearly Christmas gifts for children in the Rappahannock community. Ce also served on the District and Conference level sharing her gifts of finance and administration. She was a strong leader for the Rappahannock Charge UMC and her presence will be deeply missed. Ce was known for her kindness and perseverance and was loved by those to whom she gave selflessly.
In addition to her husband, Ce is survived by her sister-in-law Dorothy (Dottie) Oliver, niece Patricia (Patti) in Woodbridge, Virginia; nephew Allen from Phoenix, Arizona, and their respective children. Her brother Elmer Oliver predeceased her.
Her family is grateful for the care she received from the staff at Blue Ridge Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Ce’s name to Sperryville United Methodist Church at PO BOX 97 Flint Hill, VA. Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be held at Sperryville United Methodist Church on Friday October 30 at 10:00 A.M. with Rev. Jessie Colwell presiding.