Wilbert Stanley Sykes was born in Cranston, Rhode Island, on October 30, 1925, to George E. and Evelyn E. (Hyland) Sykes. He passed away peacefully on Monday, October 22, 2018, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, at the age of 92. He was formerly a resident of Pomona & Whittier, California for more than 50 years.
Bill, as he was known, grew up and went to school in Rhode Island. He was active as a Boy Scout and played basketball for his hometown school: Lockwood High.
After high school, Bill served honorably in the US Navy during WWII. He began his service training as a cadet in the Naval Air Corp. When the V5 training program he was in was de-activated, he was transferred into the Armed Guard manning the guns on Liberty and Victory ships sailing throughout the Pacific.
When the war ended Bill was employed by Providence Steel and Iron for 10 years, first as an apprentice, then as a journeyman draftsman. It was then decided the family would move to California where he was hired in at Kaiser Steel Corporation, first as a draftsman, then supervisor for the drafting department. He spent over 25 years designing structural steel for many structures in California and across America.
Bill was active in his church for over 50 years, serving in positions of Elder, Deacon and Usher. For over 25 years he served as a volunteer at the Interfaith Food Center food bank. Besides being a lover of chocolate, his main hobby was gardening and he took great pride in maintaining his home and garden. He and Lorna loved to travel and made many trips together enjoying Scotland, Hawaii, and Tahiti, among others.
Kindhearted, Bill never met a stranger without a smile and a friendly hello. He loved people and helped wherever and whenever he could.
He leaves his current wife, Lorna, of Whittier, California; 2 children from his second marriage, Julianne Wagner of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Janine Wagner of Whittier, California; and 2 children from his first marriage to Millie (Steere), Tom Sykes of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Andrea Bialas of Casper, Wyoming; He is also survived by 8 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Millie; son, Richard Sykes; and step-daughter, Cyndi Reed.
A Celebration of Life will be held November 1, 2018, at 2:00 PM at Community Presbyterian Church, 13701 Hillsborough Dr, La Mirada, California.