Barbara H. Sykes

January 26, 1933 - November 23, 2010 

Barbara H. Sykes

January 26, 1933 - November 23, 2010 

Obituary for Barbara H. Sykes

Barbara Hanaford Sykes, 77, of Ionia, died on November 23, 2010. She was born January 26, 1933, in Canton, China, the daughter of Glenn Ernest and Lucille Barnard Hanaford. Her early years were spent in China and in the Philippines where her father worked for Standard Oil Company. Her family returned to the United States in 1939, and settled in Mariemont, Ohio.

Mrs. Sykes graduated from Mariemont High School in 1950. She became a registered nurse in 1954, graduating from Evanston Hospital School of Nursing that was affiliated with Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1956 and a Master’s of Arts in Nursing Education in 1959 from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.

Mrs. Sykes worked as an instructor in nursing at Columbia University and at Teachers College preparing instructors for community college nursing programs. She served as the director of the health education program for Montcalm Community College in the early 1970s and then ended her career as a nurse for the State of Michigan.

Mrs. Sykes was very active in community organizations including, Jefferson School Parent Teachers Guild, Ionia Girl Scouts, Ionia Boy Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Ionia Literacy Council and the American Cancer Society. She was particularly proud of her service on the Ionia County Memorial Hospital board of trustees from 1975-1985, during which she served three years as president.

A great source of pride was her family’s sponsoring of a Vietnamese family in 1979, displaced by the communists upon the fall of South Vietnam. She remained in contact with the family for the remainder of her life.

She was a member of the Ionia County Historical Society, the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor and attended the First United Methodist Church in Ionia.

Mrs. Sykes is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert S. Sykes, Sr.; two sons, Hon. Robert Scott (Laurie) Sykes, Jr. of Ionia and William Ernest (Janelle) Sykes of San Antonio, Texas; two daughters, Martha Lucille (Scott) Kloosterman of Saline, Michigan and Molly Jane (Bruce) Crankshaw of Ann Arbor, Michigan; eight grandchildren, Emily and Sarah Sykes, Katherine and John Kloosterman, David and Lilly Crankshaw and Robert Scott III and Calvin Sykes; and brother, Dr. William Barnard Hanaford of Park Ridge, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents and grandson, William Robert Sykes.

A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Ionia on Monday, November 29, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Larry Brown officiating. The family will receive friends at the Schrauben-Lehman Funeral Home at 220 Rich Street in Ionia on Sunday, November 28, 2010, from 1:00p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Mrs. Sykes had asked that memorial contributions be made to the Ionia Public Schools Scholarship Fund.

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