Amegie Undie (’09OX), known by her peers for her selflessness, sense of humor and contagious laugh, died Thursday, Jan. 12. She was 22.
The cause of death was complications associated with autoimmune hepatitis, a rare disease of the liver that can harm the immune system, according to a Jan. 22 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Decatur native and Oxford continuee, Undie had originally considered the pre-medicine track but after a liver transplant in 2009, she took a few semesters off and decided to turn to medical research. She was planning on possibly entering into a career in pharmacy.
Undie was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis when she was 10 years old.
“By the time she got to Emory, the disease had taken hold of her,” said her father William Undie. “So she was still doing well, but she missed some classes because she was hospitalized a number of times. She still went back and took care of her classes.”
According to William Undie, her ultimate dream was to travel to a developing country to help poor people in those areas.
With an enthusiastic and upbeat personality, Undie is remembered by her peers for her sense of humor and outgoing nature. She drove a bright orange Scion XB, which she named “The Toaster.”
Her friend College senior Sasha Shackelford (’10OX) wrote in an email to the Wheel
that Undie had a “points system, in which she would award points to people who made a decent joke or did something awesome.”
“She also took points away if your joke was lame,” Shackelford wrote. “It makes me laugh now thinking about how many points she took away from me. That was one of my favorite things about her; she was real. She told you how it was, a sign of a true friend. That’s what was so remarkable about Amegie.”
Her laugh was especially distinctive, Nursing School student Kenneth Taganajan mentioned.
She always stayed positive despite her illness.
Shackelford described her laugh as “loud and contagious.”
“She had the ability to have this realness to her, yet stay humble and was nice to everyone; true grace,” Shackelford wrote.
But Undie liked to keep her illness quiet. Shackelford wrote that it was “hard to believe what she was going through,” as she always kept herself busy and maintained a positive attitude.
“[Undie] did not like to focus on her illness nor did she ever really talk about it,” Shackelford wrote. “Most people never even knew she was sick. She never complained nor did she use her illness as an excuse or an obstacle. She was always so lively and bubbly ... [Undie] was remarkable, always multitasking.”
William Undie commented that his daughter’s illness never stopped her from being a hardworking individual.
“She never used that as an excuse to not work hard or pursue her own dreams,” her father said.
Undie was full of hope, College junior J.W. Cornwell said, noting that she truly had the ability to cheer people up.
“You couldn’t be sad about [Undie] because she was so full of light and hope,” he explained.
Undie was extremely selfless, always willing to lend a hand to others, according to Shackelford, and would “literally do anything for anyone.” She let Shackelford borrow her car for a whole week at one point, Shackelford wrote.
Joe Moon, dean of campus life for Oxford College, wrote in an email to the Wheel that Undie was involved in several organizations on Oxford’s campus, volunteering as a tutor for underprivileged students at local schools and holding a leadership position in Dooley’s Dolls, an Oxford social club.
“I recall that she had a lovely smile,” Moon wrote. “....We are so sad for Amegie’s family and our Chaplain has reached out to them on behalf of all of us at Oxford.”
Shackelford recalled that she met Undie through Dooley’s Dolls at Oxford. During Shackelford’s freshman year, Undie chose her as her “little,” frequently checking in with her to make sure she was alright.
She took her position as service chair for Dooley’s Dolls seriously while also making it fun at the same time, Shackelford added.
During one service trip, Shackelford planned to buy what she described as a “ridiculous-looking hat” but wanted another volunteer to buy one with her.
“Of course, [Undie] was right there with me,” Shackelford recalled.
Aside for her sense of humor and desire to always help, Undie was creative, and enjoyed art and music.
But for many, Undie was an inspiration, and Taganajan said that she was “definitely one of the most positive people” he knew, always content and enthusiastic to be with her friends.
“Knowing [Undie] has definitely made me a better person,” Shackelford wrote. “She taught me to be selfless and to not let things get in the way of my aspirations. She has taught to me to live in the moment and to appreciate life.”
Overall, William Undie said Amegie Undie was a caring, compassionate person.
“[She was] someone that really put the need for other people ahead of her and ahead of her own needs,” he noted.
A memorial service took place on Saturday afternoon at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain. A burial at Melwood Cemetery followed. Students also hosted a memorial service for Undie Friday night at Clairmont Campus, where they presented photographs, music and a slideshow of Undie’s life in her honor, according to the Facebook event page.
Undie is survived by her mother, Emma; her sister, Ashley; her brother, Jonathan; and her grandmother, Eucharia Adie.
Associate Editor Roshani Chokshi and Asst. News Editor Stephanie Fang contributed reporting
— Contact Jordan Friedman