James W. Sykes, 85, of Corsicana passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at Navarro Regional Hospital. He was born July 14, 1927 to Jack and Annie L. Sykes of Dawson. He married Lorene Brown on Sept. 26, 1950 and they celebrated 62 years of marriage. They were faithful members of Calvary Worship Center.
He served in the United States Army from 1948-1953 including serving during the Korean conflict. After his honorable discharge he went to work for the Texas Department of Transportation as a heavy equipment operator and retired after 34 years of service. He was inducted into the Navarro County Historical Society Hall of Fame in 2012. The most notable contribution he made to Navarro County was as the lone remaining charter member of the Corsicana Emergency Corps, for which he is perhaps best known. He served in the CEC from 1961 to present. He also served as a reserve office for Corsicana Police Department and the Navarro County Sheriff Department.
He was the chief of the organization for many years. He enjoyed events such as Derrick Days, assisting with the traffic at the Corsicana Tiger football games, Jingle Bell Jog, escorting funerals for both Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home and Corley Funeral Home. The last count the family had, he had escorted over an estimated 3,000 funeral processions.
He was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Annie L. Sykes and sister Wanda Shipley of Baytown.
He is survived by his loving wife Lorene Sykes; son J. Keith Sykes along with Ronda and Airyka Kirkham; daughter and son-in-law Karen and Charles Fincher; grandson, Drew Sykes who he called his “TooToo,” all of Corsicana, as well as brother J. B. Sykes and wife, Jessie of Waco and sister, Bernice Hecker of Royal City, Wa.
Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 12, 2013 at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.
Services will be 2 p.m. Monday, May 13, 2013 at Calvary Worship Center with Bro. Gary Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jim Hodge, David (Punchy) Dycus, Kevin Raymond, Daniel Vasquez, Lewis Palos and Les Cotton.
Honorary Pallbearers will be the members of Corsicana Emergency Corps.
Contributions in his honor may be made to Calvary Worship Center at 1364 North Beaton Street or Corsicana Emergency Corps, P.O. Box 353, Corsicana, Texas 75151.
An online guest book is available at www.griffin-roughton.com.
Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.
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