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Sykes dies after bout with cancer

By By William F. West / community editor and and Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 15, 2002
A Lauderdale County supervisor who supported the development of a sports complex in Meridian and made his mark as a public school teacher and coach is dead at the age of 68.
Q.V. "Coach" Sykes died Sunday afternoon at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center after a long battle with lung cancer.
Sports complex named after him
Boswell recalled that Sykes was adamant in pushing for developing the Lovers Lane recreational park. The sports complex, located near Okatibbee Creek in southwest Meridian, is named after Sykes.
The complex, when completed, will include baseball fields, playgrounds and pavilions.
The Meridian City Council in March of this year passed a resolution changing the name of Lover's Lane to Q.V. Sykes Lane in honor of his commitment to and work in developing the park.
After the meeting, Meridian City Councilman Jesse Palmer Sr. carried a new, green street sign under his arm, eager to show Sykes that Lovers Lane had been renamed Q.V. Sykes Lane.
Palmer this morning called Sykes' death a terrible loss.
He had a legacy with children'
Palmer's friendship with Sykes began in the late 1950s, when Sykes was coaching basketball at Harris High School and Palmer coached at Middleton Attendance Center.
Palmer said he gave a play while Sykes was screaming that the other team was unfairly getting a time out.
Palmer said he had been checking on Sykes' condition daily.
He was so positive'
Despite his health, Sykes had also continued to concentrate his efforts on the park and reporting on its progress.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. Zachary Finley officiating. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Berry and Gardner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Visitation is from 9 a.m. until the time of the service Wednesday at the church.
Ulpiana Sims, who runs Berry and Gardner Funeral Home, said she and Sykes were at Jackson State University for four years and that they both taught in the Meridian public schools.
A good neighbor and friend'
Sykes represented District 4, located in the southern part of Lauderdale County. It was unclear today what will happen with Sykes' seat on the board of supervisors.
Although Boswell can't speak for the rest of the board, he said he believes the supervisors will probably have an election to fill that position in November.
But, he also said, "It won't be long until November."