Amyline Margaret Wick Chrastek, age 90, passed away at her home in Mesa, AZ on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. A Celebration of Em’s Life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at Strike Funeral Home Isanti Chapel.Sharing atthe memorial service will be David Bradley, Al Ingalls and Betty Wyatt. The soloist will be Mary Falk and Polly Hayes will serve as pianist. Interment will be in Isanti Union Cemetery.
Amyline Margaret Wick Chrastek, known to all as Em, was born December 11, 1919 to Albert (Pat) and Viola (Lindberg) Johnson, descendants of the earliest Isanti settlers. A tom girl at heart, an independent free spirit, Em loved life and greatly valued her family and friends.
After graduation from Cambridge High School, she married Ralph (Bud) Wick, and they began their careers as farmers, egg & chicken peddlers, and owners of the Isanti Hardware Store. After family, Bud and Ems’ love was the life of Elim Baptist Church, where they devoted many years as youth advisors. In 2003, a reunion was held with many of those kids whom they had shepherded at Elim, an event that Em warmly spoke of for the rest of her life.
Em had been plagued with pain after an early fall from a hay load on their farm and a difficult neck surgery in 1959. Hoping to find relief for her, Bud sold the hardware store and they moved to the drier Arizona climate. While in Mesa, they were part of a development team that built spec houses, a nursing facility, and their own tri-plex.
Sadly, Bud passed away in 1979. After four years of being alone, Em married Anton (Tony) Chrastek, also of Mesa. Together they traveled to Europe, Hawaii, and throughout the states, and spent their summers with other sunbirds in Rexburg, Idaho. Em was on the Board of Directors of Velda Rose Estates, a social worker with Mesa Christian Home, a vital member of several churches, but most of all a hospitality specialist. Her home was a revolving door; her freshly baked rye bread and cinnamon buns, beckoning all to sit at her table.
After a difficult illness, Tony passed away on their 29th wedding anniversary in February, 2010. Finally, Em slowed down and allowed others to take care of her. A failing heart, shingles, deteriorating spine, and a comprised immune system caused her to spend much of her time in her recliner, but the front door remained open and friends, family, and neighbors continued to troop in, supposedly to cheer her, but always left encouraged and inspired themselves.
Em had the ability to give without counting the cost, to look for the best, to expect the best, and give without strings attached, never too busy to lend a listening ear.
Finally, it was her time. Her physical heart wore out, but her legacy lives on. She was called home, Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at her home in Mesa, AZ at the age of 90. Predeceased are Em’s brothers Clinton and Norton Johnson.
Em is survived by her younger sister, Lucille Ahlman; daughter, Mary Lou Baird Reily, and husband John; her son, Ronald Wick and wife Shannon, all of Mesa. She has 5 granchildren, Kelly Genereaux of Oceanside, CA., Cindy Wick of Bovey, Mn, Derrick, James and Carrie Wick of Mesa, AZ and 6 great-grandchildren, and more friends than we will ever know.