Carolyn Virginia Harden Sykes
June 7,1917 to August 5,2012
Burlington —Carolyn Harden Sykes, 95, of Burlington, died at Burlington Manor on Sunday August 5, 2012 following several weeks of critical illness.
She grew up in Graham, NC and was the wife of Lonnie Quinton Sykes who died in 1988. She was the last of 9 children born to Nettie Abbott and Peter Ray Harden, both deceased. She often spoke of walking miles to school in the rain and winter cold, as well as tending the garden and chickens which provided the family with food and a small amount of income. Hand-me-downs were plentiful and shoes were scarce but love was abundant. God’s faithfulness was ever present.
In 1993, she was named Mother of the Year by the Altrusa Club as was her mother years before. She played basketball for Graham High School and Burlington Business College in her younger days. She loved children and was “Momma” to many in her neighborhood as well as the community. She also loved gardening, sewing, traveling and visiting with friends over coffee. As a long time member of Davis Street United Methodist Church, she was a member of the Golden Rule Sunday School Class and secretary for the United Methodist Women. She taught Sunday School for many years and baby-sat for the Alamance County Medical Auxiliary and the First Baptist Church Choir.
Ever an optimist, she was fun loving and taught her children the value of using humor to cope with every day challenges. She was a devoted and committed mother always. Even In her last days, she fretted over leaving her children. In one of her last conversations, aware that she was failing, she shared that she felt like she used to when she left her children the first day of school for someone else to care for them.”
She is survived by children: Virginia Marshall, Bonnie Mehring (Mark), Ervin “Butch” Sykes, Rev. Michael Sykes (Patricia) of Rockingham, NC, daughter-in-law Janice Holt Sykes of Winston-Salem, NC, 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Also surviving are sister-in-laws, Ethel Allred, Mary Alice Harden, Edna Harden and devoted friend Martha Moss.
She was preceded in death by son, Robert “Bobby” Sykes of Winston-Salem, NC and grandson Bryan Michael Sykes. She was also predeceased by brothers, Ray, John, Turner, Pete, and Junius Harden, and sisters Sarah Renn, Nettie Frazier, and Cora Grover.
The family would like to thank the staff of Burlington Manor and Hospice staff for their loving care and concern for her family.
The funeral service will be conducted at Davis Street United Methodist Church on Wed. August 8, at 11:00am by the Rev. Ellen McCubbin and eulogy by Rev. Patricia Sykes. The family will receive friends at 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in the church prior to the service. Burial will follow in Alamance Memorial Park.
The family requests that memorials be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC or to Davis Street United Methodist Church, 606 E. Davis Street, Burlington, NC.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com.
Rich & Thompson Funeral Service is assisting the family.