Linda Kay Fickus
Linda Kay Fickus (July 4, 1965 – August 19, 2008), also known in later life by the married names of Linda Kay Snyder and Linda Kay Manns, was the first Miss Alaska Teen USA in 1983, the year the Miss Teen USA pageant debuted. She appeared in the 1983 Miss Teen USA Pageant telecast from Lakeland, Florida and was a press favorite.
When she was crowned, Linda was 17 years old, the daughter of William and Lillian Fickus. She spent much of her childhood growing up on a ranch in the southern foothills of the Brooks Range in the Alaskan "bush".
Family legend says that her heritage traced back to the Hessian Army during the Revolutionary War on her father's side, and to Alaska's ancient Athabascan peoples on her mother's side. She was the third child of four, and the second daughter in the family to win a state pageant title. Her older sister Deborah Fickus (married name Luper) was Miss Alaska USA in 1980. She was the granddaughter of Moses Sam, the Traditional Chief of Arctic Village for the last 14 years of his life.
Following her year as Miss Alaska Teen USA, she began a career in business & government that ultimately led to political appointments by Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, who she served as Deputy Director of Boards & Commissions, and as Special Assistant. She also served in Governor Sarah Palin's Fairbanks office, was president of a local Republican Women's Club, and was a member of the Rotary Club. In the beginning of her professional career, Linda spent a number of years working as the manager of the bookstore at the University of Alaska Southeast.
Prior to her death, she appeared as a special guest at the 2007 Miss Alaska Teen USA pageant.
Linda Kay Fickus married James P. Snyder and they had two sons, Blake and Garret. A few years prior to her death, she married her childhood friend, Jeffrey P. Manns.
Linda Kay Manns died in Fairbanks, Alaska at the age of 43 on August 19, 2008, as the result of a long battle with breast cancer. Since her death, it has been found that Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to her condition. She lived for more than a decade in Juneau, Alaska, under heavy cloud cover much of the time. However, Vitamin D deficiency is now seen as a pandemic, especially in the United States (Northern climes are even more heavily affected). http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/4/1080S.full