Mr. Edward “Gene” Eugene Sykes, age 63, of Fernandina Beach, FL passed way on Saturday evening, July 23, 2016 at his home.
Born in Portsmouth, VA, he was the youngest of six children born to the late Claude Raymond and Bertha Suite Sykes. He grew up in Deep Creek and had attended Deep Creek High School. In 1971, he married a Virginia Beach native and friend since their teenage years; Alice Marie Fulcher.
In 1975, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served on active duty until being honorably discharged in 1977.
After being honorably discharged he joined Tidewater Equipment in Chesapeake, VA as a Shipfitter and Welder. He later joined the Department of Defense as a Civilian and worked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. During his time working at Norfolk, he attended Tidewater Community College, studying Physics and Math and earning his Nuclear Welder Certification.
In 1991 he and his family moved to Northeast Florida as he joined the Trident Submarine Refit Facility in Kings Bay, GA. During his time at Kings Bay he served as Steward, Lobbyist and Secretary to the President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union. Mr. Sykes retired from Civil Service in October of 2012.
Since retiring he has enjoyed yardwork, working on his antique cars and ocean cruises with his family.
He was a charter member of the Amelia Island Cruizers and enjoyed showing his 1958 Cadillac and 1937 Plymouth.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a sister, Rosa Mae Matheler.
Mr. Sykes leaves behind his wife, Alice Sykes, Fernandina Beach FL, their children, Gene Sykes Jr. and his wife, Lori of Belle Chase, LA, Wendy Bagley and her husband, Donald, of Yulee, FL, Carrie Ray and her husband, Shane of Fernandina Beach, FL, his brothers and sisters, Claude Sykes, Suffolk, VA, Mary Alice Strait, Corpus Christi, TX, Brenda Harrrell, Suffolk, VA, Bobby Sykes, Yulee, FL, eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Sykes family will receive friends on Tuesday from 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm at Oxley Heard Funeral Home.
A reception will follow at the home of Mr. Sykes.