In Memory of Donald Eugene Sykes
Donald Eugene Sykes, 87 of Canton, Missouri died Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:57 PM at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.
The son of Van Murphy and Lucy Frances Watts Sykes was born on May 16, 1924 at Hannibal, Missouri.
He was united in marriage to Catherine McColloch on June 9, 1946 at Hannibal, Missouri.
Don served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received a Bronze Star for the New Guinea Campaign. He was a member and former church board president of Canton Christian Church. He was Adjutant of Otto Bruner Post # 170 American Legion, member of Canton Betterment Group, volunteered for Pepsi-Titan Little People’s Golf Tournament and staff photographer for Press-News Journal. He had previously served on the Canton R-V School Board, Sun-n-Surf Pool Board and manager and charter member of River Valley Country Club. Don also owned and operated Don’s Grand Leader from 1957 to 1987, worked as bookkeeper at Culver-Stockton College, a member of TKE Fraternity and was the 2009 Culver-Stockton Homecoming Co-Parade Marshall.
He is survived by his wife Catherine “Katie” Sykes of Canton, MO, daughter, Patricia “Pattie Sykes” Sides & her husband Ray of Houston, TX; daughter-in-law, Marcia Sykes of Terlingua, TX; grandson, Charles “Chuck” Hutton of Houston, TX; three step-grandchildren, Steven & Jami Sides of Katy, TX and Jeremy Sides of Little Rock, AR; two step-great grandchildren, Kyla and Kaz Sides; aunt, Wilma Rosser of Kingsport, TN; sister-in-law, Mary McColloch and several nieces & nephews of the St. Louis area.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son Donald Eugene Sykes, Jr.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM at the Canton Christian Church with Rev. Ron Frazier officiating with inurnment in the Forest Grove Cemetery. Graveside military honors by Canton Otto Bruner Post # 170 American Legion.
Visitation will be held Sunday evening from 4 until 7 PM at Arnold’s Funeral Home in Canton.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials be made to the Canton Christian Church, Culver-Stockton College Scholarship Fund or the donor’s choice.
Honorary pallbearers are members of Otto Bruner Post # 170.
My brother, Andy Meredith (known at home as "Drew") attended Culver-Stockton College from 1962-1966 and was a TKE. He spoke fondly of "Don and Katie" and of the Grand Leader. He loved to go in and help himself to a fountain Coke.
I am visiting in Hannibal for a wedding and just wondered about the Grand Leader. A couple of clicks on Google brought me to Don's obituary. Sadly, "Drew" died very young in 2001.
I send my condolences to Mrs. Sykes (Katie). You and Mr. Sykes were known to our family as beloved member's of our brother's college town family. Thank you for welcoming him into your hearts.
Anne Meredith Kyle
Willow Springs, Missouri
Anne Meredith Kyle -
Mr. Sykes was a great supporter of the cheerleading team, in every fundraiser that I approached him about. I am so thankful to have met such a wonderful man over the last couple of years. I will always remember his smile, jokes, and laugh. Thank you Mr. Sykes!
Jasmine Brown - 2012
Don Sykes WAS the smile behind the counter in the
Cat's Pause--the drugstore---at every sporting
event on the campus and on curb the for the Homecoming Parade. He was Culver-Stockton personified through more than 6 decades, yeah, I actually saw him on campus when he was a student. He was Don, Katie's wife, my parents' next-door neighbor, the guy you imagine when you think of Canton's downtown or the college campus. Thanks, Don, for being there for your classmates, the teams, the alumni and the town.
(Maggi) Mary-Margaret Henthorne (Alexander) -
I remember well the friendly atmosphere everytime I walked into Don's Grand Leader. Don's and Katie's greetings were wonderful! I was a class member of Gene's prior to his transfer to Kirksville. He, too, was a very pleasant person to have known.
Don (and Gene) are sorely missed. Thanks to their memory. My best to Katie and family during this time.
Dennis K. McMillan - 1971
I have many fond memories of Don and Katie at the Grand Leader. Don was always up beat. You could count on him to brighten your day with his infectious smile.
John Zay - 1972
Oh how we will all miss Don! Katie, I rememember the many times that I spend in the Grand Leader with Ned Green and you two! Don would fix us his "special"---which would cure all ills!
The world was truly a better place with Don in it and we will all miss him!
Tim - 1975
I have fond memories of Bid Day, and serenading Don and Katie Sykes as a new member and active Chi Omega. Don and Katie would often stop by the house later that day to bring photos he had taken of all the girls singing. My deepest condolences to Katie and her whole family.
Renee (Schroeder) Rogles - 2002
Although I don't have a specific moment to share, I remember going in to the Grand Leader and seeing Don and Katie there--surrogate parents for all of us at Culver! I don't think there was ever a football game that he didn't attend, and any time something was going on at the campus, there he was. Culver has lost a great friend and supporter. May God keep you all and give you comfort.
Mary (Tiffin) Wadleigh - 1971
My deepest sympathy to the Sykes family. I will always remember Don as a wonderful person; giving to others and (maybe unknowingly) setting an example for his younger fraternity brothers. Walking into Don's Grand Leader and watching his interaction with customers/friends made me feel like everything was OK in life.
Bill Brown - 1973
My sincere condolences to the Sykes Family. Mr.Sykes always greeted you with a smile and he made you feel at ease. My thoughts and prayers to Mrs.Sykes and the family.
Millard Bondurant - 1972
I was very saddened to here of the loss of Don Sykes. Don and Katie have been a C-SC and Canton staple my entire life. It is hard to think of either without thinking of Don. My deepest sympothy goes out to Katie. We will miss you Don.
Carrie (Kuntz) Moix - 1997
There are so many memories of both Don and Katie and the Grand Leader-They made it a home away from home and were always there to talk and encoourage everyone that crossed their paths. He was truely a friend and mentor and will be missed by all that crossed is path. I am sure he has a special place in heaven
Dana France - 1961-1965
I am sorry to hear of Don's passing. I have fond memories of going to Don's Grand Leader while a student at CSC.
Jeff Baymiller - 1964
Norma and I remarked what a joy it was to know you and Don. His outgoing personality, his love for Culver-Stockton and education in general, his abilitto never meet a stranger and his desire to help people are things that we shall always remember. His love for life and family and his devotion for you and family will be in our hearts forever.
Katie, please accept our sincere sympathy and personal bereavement concerning your husband Don and if the occasion presents itself, please express our condolences ot your family.
Norma & Victor D. Gragg - - 1954
The Canton Community, Culver-Stockton College, and TKE Fraternity has lost an icon. I first came to know Don through his avid support of CSC Basketball – I managed to make the team and survive the Coach Herrington days. It was not at all unusual for Don and ‘Ep’ Alberty to attend all of the home games and most of the away games. Believe me when I tell you that he engaged in a lot of “counseling” of young players who would struggle from time to time with the “Herrington Way”.
Then how can anyone forget the warmth of “parents-away-from-home” that Don and Katie represented to young college kids over a Hawkshaw at Don’s Grand Leader.
And, I will never forget the steady glue his presence and counsel meant to the TKE Fraternity membership that was struggling with the death of a fellow frater – young people were not supposed to die from this disease called Cancer.
Later in our professional lives, my wife, Beth, and I had the pleasure of returning to our alma mater, and guess who was one of the first to welcome us “home” – Don & Katie Sykes. I especially enjoyed the commradery with Don on our bowling team once a week at the Cotton Bowl. One week after Don & Katie’s son Gene died suddenly Don showed up to bowl. I couldn’t imagine the pain and bewilderment he must have been experiencing. After I expressed my sympathies and condolences, he said to me, “Ken, I am so glad I took the opportunity to hug my son and tell him I loved him down at the pharmacy the night before he died in his sleep.” Poignant statement from a pillar of a man whose priorities were well defined.
Lastly, is there anybody who would challenge that Culver-Stockton College Blue ran through this man’s veins his entire life. I’m fortunate to have known this gentle man.
Katie and Pattie – you are in our prayers.
Karl (Ken) Hansmeier - 1965
Sandstorms and Don & Katie sustained me during my years at C-S. Their kindness and true interest in my life was a blessing. Katie, psalm 30:5 - "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Thank you.
Michael Lane - 1971
Don & Katie were like parents away from home. As a TKE, we got the added bonus of being even closer to the Sykes.
My condolences to the Sykes family. Thanks for the great memories and good times in Canton.
Larry Doty - 1972
Every year Don and Katie would 'adopt' one or two students. I was one of the lucky ones who got to spend time with this wonderful family. They enriched my college experience with their warmth and kindness. I'm so sorry to hear of Don's passing and my heart goes out to Katie.
Fredric W. Meek - 1966
Don and Katie were the smiling faces that greeted you when you went down to the Grand Leader for a nickel Coke. God bless you both for all that you were to the students at Culver-Stockton. Katie, my sincere sympathies; Don, you will be missed.
Larry Glowacki - 1972
Katie and Pattie,
I extend my love and prayers, along with my sympathy to both of you and your family for the recent loss of a great friend to many of us.....Don.
Don's Grand Leader and Don and Katie Sykes are pillars of the town of Canton, and as long as many of us kids who grew up in Canton are alive, so will be the memories of Don and Katie. You both helped a lot of us grow up. We owe you a lot for your love and affection over the years.
Man! do I ever miss those 10-cent cherry orangeades, made from fresh oranges, and Don spinning the change from a quarter down the granite drug store countertop only to stop right in front of me. He taught me how to do that, and I still can do it.
I will always remember the family and growing up with Gene and Pattie. My prayers are for your comfort in the grace of Jesus Christ, which gives us free unfettered entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, where we will all reunite someday soon. What a great day that will be!
My love to all!
Canton High School 1964
C-S College 1968
Don Carpenter - 1968
A dear friend!
Johnny - 1949