Shelby J. Sykes, 80, an East Wenatchee resident for over 40 years, passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at her daughter’s house in East Wenatchee.
She was born on December 4, 1937 in Anguilla, Mississippi to the late Jeremiah “Jepp” and Velma (Spurgeon) Evans. She was the ninth child out of ten brothers and sisters. At an early age, the family moved to Canby, California. She was raised in Canby where she received her education. She married her neighbor boy growing up, Herbert V. Sykes, on August 9, 1952 in Reno, Nevada. They briefly made their first home in Canby, prior to moving to Hayfort, California. Later, they moved to Hendersen and the Red Bluff area of California.
They moved to Central Washington in 1975, settling briefly in Chelan and Grand Coulee before moving to East Wenatchee in July of 1977. She had worked at the little drive inn diner in East Wenatchee, that was previously on Grant Road where the Jet Pro Car Wash is now located. She worked as a seasonal sorter at Tree Top and McDougall and Sons and in 1986 they purchased a bakery cake supply business, known as the Cake Plate, here in East Wenatchee. She last worked as a cook at a daycare center, known as “Amazing World,” where she became known to everyone as “Grandma Shelby.” She loved and hugged the many children throughout the years, and all the girls (employees) shared many memories of laughter together.
In the late 70’s, early 80’s, she played softball with two of her daughters for several years in California and continued in the Wenatchee Valley where she became assistant coach for her other daughter’s softball team. Shelby and Herbert also participated in several bowling leagues at Eastmont Lanes.
They continued to make their home in East Wenatchee. She retired in June of 2012. They enjoyed traveling, camping and fishing and had even recently purchased a Pontoon boat. She loved fishing on “Mom’s Pontoon Party Barge” at Bank’s Lake, Mardon Dock, Seven Bays and trips to the Colombia River with friends and family.
She is survived by her husband, Herbert V. Sykes, East Wenatchee, WA; Children: Deborah “Debbie” Tincher, East Wenatchee, WA; Kenneth (Tina) Sykes, Newport, WA; Rebecca “Becky” Jester, Wenatchee, WA; Cindie (Ron) Burgess, East Wenatchee, WA; Sister: Peggy Tauton, Anderson, CA; and 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and eight brothers and sisters.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 from 12-5 pm, at Heritage Memorial Chapel, located at 19 Rock Island Road, East Wenatchee. You are invited to visit her online tribute at HeritageMemorialChapel.com and leave a memory.
Life Story for Shelby Sykes
Mom was born outside of Rolling Forks, Mississippi on December 4th, 1937. She was the ninth child of 10. Sometime in 1946, Uncle Jay moved from Mississippi to Likely, California. He worked to save money to get the rest of the family to California. In early January 1947, the family left for Canby, California, taking the very long southern route to avoid the bad weather arriving in Canby on January 21st. Grandma Evans, Grandpa Evans and Uncle Vernon rode in front of the truck (switching drivers between Grandpa and Uncle Vernon) while Aunt Peggy, Uncle Shirley, Aunt Betty and Mom rode in the back of the truck (in a home made wood camper type box) with Grandma's sewing machine, one set of dishes and a cast iron skillet. Their families lived beside each other for about four years.
Mom and Dad later married August 9th, 1952 in Reno, Nevada. Dad was drafted in the Army in February 1953 and left for the Korean War later in May and he came back to the states in December 1954. In spring 1956 we left Canby to move to Shingletown, California and in 1957 we moved to Gerber, California. Between 1958 and 1970 we also lived in Riovista, California, returning to Gerber in 1970. In 1975 we relocated to to Washington state living in Chelan and later moving to Grand Coulee in the spring of 1976. In the summer of 1977 we moved to East Wenatchee, Washington then moving to Prosser, Washington in the winter of 1980 and returning to live in East Wenatchee, Washington where most of us still live in the Wenatchee Valley today.