Sykes, L.A.

L. A. Sykes, of Murray, passed away on July 16, 2020. It may be said that his mind and body were simply worn out after 97 years of a full, active and hard working life. Services will be held at the Murray Memorial Gardens at 11:00 A. M. on July 20th, with military honors. There will be a brief visitation and Masonic ceremony at Imes Funeral Home & Crematory, downtown Murray starting at 10:00 A. M. The visitation and funeral will be for family members only due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In large measure, L. A. exemplified the history and character that earned his generation the title of The Greatest Generation. He was born in Dover Tennessee in 1923 and learned the value of family and friends, hard work, and thrift growing up amidst the hardships of the Great Depression. His father, Louie Sykes, died while L. A. was a teenager, and L. A. remained devoted to his mother, Minnie Spiceland Sykes, her entire life. During World War II, L. A. served as a medic with the 75th Infantry Division, experiencing combat for the first time in the Battle of the Bulge and continuing on through the conquest and occupation of Germany. After the war, L. A. returned home to West Kentucky and married Merlene Dyer. They raised three children together and enjoyed a 66 year marriage that ended with Merlene’s death in 2014. Like many Kentuckians, L. A. and Merlene moved to Michigan in the 50’s seeking good, steady work. There, L. A. began his long career as an over-the-road semi-truck driver delivering new cars from the Ford River Rouge assembly plant to dealers throughout the country. He worked long and hard hours, but it gave him the independence he cherished and the income to support his family. Again, like so many of their generation, L. A. and Merlene were able to give their children a better life than they had had growing up, ingrained in them the value of education, and sent each of their children to college. In his later years, L. A. took justifiable pride in the fact that all of his and Merlene’s children and grandchildren had grown to be successful, responsible adults and that all of their grandchildren had obtained college degrees. After L. A. retired from trucking, he and Merlene and their youngest daughter Susan returned to Murray. L. A. and Merlene had remained close to their West Kentucky roots and families while living in Michigan. Even after 20+ years away, Calloway County remained home. Of course, for L. A., “retirement” simply meant leaving one job for another, and he continued to work in Murray through his 80’s as an electrician, a security guard at the hospital, and a driver. L. A. was a friendly, principled and honest man with many close friends. His adherence to principle can be seen in the following story. While living in Michigan, L. A. decided to join a particular church where Susan went to school. Joining the church required L. A. to attend a number of classes and learn the church’s theology and precepts. After L. A. finished the classes, the minister, having learned that L. A. was a Mason, imposed one additional requirement for church membership: L. A. would have to disclose certain confidential information about the Mason’s to the minister, information which L. A. had sworn to keep confidential when he joined the Mason’s. L. A. did not join that church. L. A. is survived by his eldest daughter Pam Black (Wayne); his son Larry Sykes (Jo Anne); and his daughter Susan Thiele (Robert). L. A. is survived by eight grandchildren: Jason Black (Angela); Justin Black (Sydney); Laurance Sykes; Molly Sykes; Joseph Sykes; Emily Schuleman (Aaron); Wesley Larson ; and Jessica Berry (Brenson). L. A. is survived by three great grandchildren, Sophia and Joshua Black and Briley Berry.

Published 12:00 AM, Thursday Jul. 16, 2020
Updated 10:05 PM, Saturday Jul. 18, 2020

Imes Funeral Home and Crematory

Imes Funeral Home and Crematory
311 N 4th St. Murray, KY 42071

Phone:(270) 753-7000
Email: mattimes1@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.imesfh.com

Directions:

Across from the Calloway County Judicial Building, approx 3 blocks north of Court Square of 4th Street

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