Jeannette Vivian Hale Sykes


Jeannette Vivian Hale Sykes, 98, died Feb. 26, 2014, at her home in Centerville, Tenn.

She was born in Freeport, Ill., on Feb. 9, 1916, to the late August and Gerda Hultquist. She also was preceded in death by her first husband, Hurford Robert Hale; a brother, Stanley; two sisters, Hazel and Helen; and a grandson, Christopher.

Surviving are her husband, Thomas Sykes of Centerville, Tenn.; her sister, Doris Hogarth of Grand Junction, Colo.; sons, Robert of Grass Valley, Calif., and Alan Hale of Bellefontaine; daughter, Lynda Wilkerson of Bellefontaine; stepson, Thomas Sykes Jr. of San Antonio, Texas; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a few cousins; and many nephews and nieces.

She grew up in Clearing, Ill., and was active in school and church, meeting her first husband, Hurford, on his birthday, Valentine’s Day, at a school dance. They married in March 1934.

As World War II was winding down, the family of four moved to Euclid, where she raised her children and became a partner with her husband in the family business, Haleco, providing grinding tools and supplies to the aircraft and automotive industries. After selling their business, they retired to Florida, finally establishing a residence in N. Fort Myers, Fla. She remained there until Hurford Hale’s death in 1992.

In 1996, she married Thomas Sykes and they moved to Centerville, Tenn., where he was raised. They maintained their home, traveled and made many friends in that community and through the Centerville Methodist Church. She was a lifelong member of the Eastern Star.

Jeannette was active throughout her life and loved to swim. She continued to swim and attend exercise classes frequently in Centerville up to the day she died. She was a voracious reader, in later life reading four and five novels a week.

She was cremated and will be laid to rest during a family celebration of her life Tuesday in Belle Vernon, Pa., in the Hale family plot surrounded by children, her sister and cousins, whom she loved.