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East Charlotte activist who battled to save her home has died

Vickie Fewell, an east Charlotte activist known for years of community service, died in a car accident in Virginia on March 5.
Vickie Fewell, an east Charlotte activist known for years of community service, died in a car accident in Virginia on March 5. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Vickie Fewell, an east Charlotte activist who became the focus of a fundraiser last fall when her house faced foreclosure, has died. She was 60.

Fewell was well-known throughout east Charlotte because of her many years of community service. East Charlotte residents turned to Fewell for help with everything from code enforcement to Fourth of July parade floats. She also helped bring change, such as successfully lobbying the city to pay for improvements to Eastway Park.

Last year, the community she had served rallied to help her when her home was scheduled for public auction.

By late December, residents had raised several thousand dollars for Fewell.

“It’s the only thing to do,” friend Diane Garris said at the time. “If there’s ever been anyone who deserved a break, this lady is that person.”

The public campaign ultimately helped save her home when the bank agreed to put Fewell on a trial loan modification period. She was going to pay her third installment of the new loan payment April 1, which would have qualified her for a permanent loan modification, said Garris.

More than that, Fewell, who had struggled with unemployment in recent years, had recently accepted a permanent full-time job with UC Synergetic in Fort Mill.

“Everything had worked out in her favor,” Garris said.

The Roanoke (Va.) Times reported that she was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery County on March 5. A 1998 Ford Ranger was trying to merge onto the highway when it slid into traffic lanes and collided with a tractor-trailer. Fewell died at the scene.

Garris said she felt some peace about how Fewell spent her final months.

“I know she was right with God, and if he was ready for her, she was ready to go,” she said. “She was right with her maker.”

She added that the best thing anyone could do to honor Fewell’s memory is to pay it forward.

“Go forward and strive to do everything possible and make the world a better place for all people,” she said.

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