‘Pil­lar of fam­ily’ ex­pressed her love through cook­ing

The Detroit News - - Metro - BY MARK HICKS The Detroit News

Whether re­gal­ing guests with home­made dishes, meet­ing up with friends and fel­low travel en­thu­si­asts or of­fer­ing a lis­ten­ing ear, Beatrice Amye left a mark with her car­ing touch.

“She showed the epit­ome of love for ev­ery­body,” said her son, An­tone Amye, se­nior de­sign ed­i­tor at The Detroit News. “She was very non­judg­men­tal and ap­proach­able, and would go out of her way to make her fam­ily happy.”

Mrs. Amye died Thurs­day, Oct. 4, 2018, in West Bloom­field Town­ship af­ter health is­sues. She was 66.

The Metro Detroi­ter’s life re­volved around her fam­ily, from over­see­ing Bible stud­ies to im­part­ing years of culi­nary wis­dom.

“She was the pil­lar of our fam­ily,” said her daugh­ter, Ash­ley Amye. “She taught us how to do ev­ery­thing. She spoiled us rot­ten, but at the same time, taught us how to be in­de­pen­dent.”

Be­sides main­tain­ing a metic­u­lously neat home, Mrs. Amye, a former le­gal sec­re­tary, also had a creative flair: se­lect­ing col­or­ful flow­ers to dis­play as well as present as bou­quets.

“If any­one needed rose ar­range­ments, she was the per­son to go to,” said an­other son, An­dré Amye. “Ev­ery­one knew she had a way with dec­o­rat­ing.”

An­other love was cook­ing: en­tic­ing din­ers with her spaghetti, lasagna, pep­per steak and more.

“Her mac and cheese was my fa­vorite,” grand­daugh­ter Ad­di­son Amye said. “It was made with love.”

De­vo­tion marked Mrs. Amye’s other pur­suits: ful­fill­ing re­quire­ments as a Je­ho­vah’s Wit­ness, help­ing her hus­band, Ver­non, with his prop­erty man­age­ment ven­tures or ad­vis­ing son An­dré in how to suc­cess­fully run a busi­ness.

“She was our back­bone, our go-to,” her son said. “She helped ev­ery­body.”

Close con­nec­tions were sec­ond na­ture for Mrs. Amye.

Born Beatrice Cor­bitt on Sept. 9, 1952, in Alabama, she grew up on Detroit’s north­west side with eight sib­lings. She at­tended Cen­tral High School.

As a youth, “she was very pop­u­lar,” said her sis­ter, An­nette Shaw. “Peo­ple liked to be around her.”

Af­ter meet­ing at a skat­ing rink, she and Ver­non Amye wed on July 14, 1973.

For decades, the cou­ple loved trav­el­ing widely — va­ca­tion­ing with friends in Mex­ico or tak­ing their chil­dren around the coun­try, An­dré Amye said. “We were al­ways go­ing some­where.”

In re­cent years, Mrs. Amye rel­ished at­tend­ing con­certs and dot­ing on rel­a­tives — from sur­prise shop­ping trips and dol­ing out ad­vice.

“You could tell her any­thing. She didn’t judge. She al­ways had ad­vice,” Ash­ley Amye said. “You felt com­fort­able around her. She was like ev­ery­body’s fa­vorite aunt.”

Even while strug­gling with health is­sues, the mother of three in­sisted on tak­ing time to lis­ten to oth­ers and cheer them up, An­dré Amye said. “If they needed help, any­thing she could to do to make things eas­ier for them, she would. She al­ways wanted to be sure that ev­ery­one else was do­ing OK.”

Other sur­vivors in­clude sib­lings Nancy Beatty, Ear­lean Browne, Mar­ion Camp­bell, Chris­tine Cor­bitt, Gwen­dolyn Stevens, Dorothy Cor­bitt and Ran­dolph Cor­bitt; grand­child, Hai­ley; a daugh­ter-in-law, De­Shaun; 16 nieces; and 13 neph­ews.

Visi­ta­tion is sched­uled for 3 p.m. Satur­day at King­dom Hall of Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses, 19750 Vaughan, Detroit. A memo­rial fol­lows at 4 p.m.

Cour­tesy of Ayme fam­ily

Mrs. Amye

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