C. Douglas Sykes, age 66 of Knoxville Tn, passed away on November 15, 2020. There may be services at a later date. Gentry Griffey is honored to serve the Sykes family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.
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From my teen-age years to my early twenties, Doug, two years older than I, was my mentor. I think we first became acquainted when my older brother brought Doug home, and Doug found me chasing after the chess mania of the Bobby Fischer era. Doug was a strong natural player with an inventive mind, and I had joined the Dobyns-Bennett chess club. We fell to playing, and from those first few off-hand games with Doug, the bond we formed was lifelong.
As the result of a series of events improbably involving a WWI sabre, Doug joined the Marines shortly after high school, and he accepted this new chapter in his life as an adventure along a path not too far removed from what he might have freely chosen, given his absorption in military history. Doug became a veteran who trained at Parris Island and served at Camp Pendleton and Okinawa.
Everyone who knew Doug will miss him, so that goes without saying. He was something of self-taught man with unbounding curiosity, whose interests included military history only, perhaps, as a subset of his broader interests in religion and the social problem. Doug was a romantic who took seriously the call to, in the words of the poet, “forge a new reality, closer to the heart.” Beside those wide-ranging interests was Doug’s love for well-made cars – no doubt a shared interest with Doc Smith, who collected Porsches, but fundamental with Doug, too. This is America, after all.
The world grows a little bit colder when you lose somebody who loves you. He was my best friend, and I will miss him every day.
I had planned to visit my brother to spend time with him and then COVID hit. During our last conversation I told him that I loved him and that I was so sorry we had grown up in separate foster homes. I told him that I wished we could have spent more time together and that I wanted to come and visit him. He told me not to wait too long.
I loved my brother and I always will. He will always be in my heart. I wish I could have had that last visit with him but I am so grateful that I got to tell him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me.
I will always be grateful to my brother and his friends, the Reel family.
The Reel's were my last foster home. They were so kind and generous to me and I got to live in a beautiful home. It was all because of my brother and his love for me.
Rest in peace, my dear brother Doug. I love you and miss you. Thank you for always looking out for your little sister. You are in my heart forever. Foster homes may have seperated us but they never broke our brother sister bond.
I first met Doug in Kingsport in 1966 when we were in seventh grade, not long after he moved in with his foster family, the Smiths. He soon became a fixture in the neighborhood with the rest of us, and we were all fairly inseparable through those years before we got a little older, got our driver's licenses and our ranges widened. As our circle of friends grew, we became close with another group of friends in Kingsport and Knoxville at UT, and it was with a similar kinship that we all grew up further. Doug and I were always close, even though our paths diverged over the years with long stretches passing before we would see each other. Still, when we did get together (usually for a football game), after not having seen or spoken with him for years, we would immediately fall into the same comfortable conversation and relationship we had when we were young. It would feel like I had seen him the week before. I will miss those times, as well as all the adventures we had growing up.
Growing up with Doug was never dull; he always made an impression on those around him. I have a lot of Doug stories. I'm gonna remember them all.
So long, Doug, rest in peace.
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