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John Woodrow Sykes age 91 of Hurdland died Sunday, July 11, 2010, at the LaPlata Nursing home in LaPlata, MO. Woodrow was born at home in Macon County, MO on September 1, 1918, the son of Lee and Mary Anne Shepard Sykes. On December 21, 1941, in LaPlata, he married Anna Lea Hatfield of Sue City. Woodrow and Anna Lea farmed south of Hurdland for the last 65 years. He loved tilling the soil and taking care of his cattle, quail and bird hunting, and spending lots of time with his whole family.

Woodrow served his country in the United States Army during World War II, first with the 340th Engineers in Canada and Alaska on a bulldozer crew clearing the roadway for the AlCan Highway. He was then transferred to the Transportation Corps and spent the last 2 years of the war as a switchyard master in France and Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge campaign.

Woodrow is survived by his wife of 68 years, Anna Lea of the home; his three children, Anita & Steve Dixson and Rex & Keetha Sykes of Hurdland, MO and Marla & Gary Holt of Florence, MT. Grandchildren are Shane & Dana Dixson and Shannon & Anita Dixson of Columbia, MO Charity & Paul Chia of Castaic, CA, Tiffany & Wes Blankenship of Gibbs, MO, Pam & Jeremy (deceased) Sykes of Kirksville, Uriah & Roberta Yager of E. Helena, MT, Jacob Yager & friend Rebecca Green of Chinook, MT and Nehemiah & Ashley Yager of Stillwater, OK. Step-grandchildren are Adam & Keli Fulton of Arnold, MO and Allison Fulton of Columbia, MO. He is survived by 9 great grandchildren: Trinity, Faith and Caleb Dixson, Austin Sykes, Levi & Zoe Blankenship, Samuel and Faith Yager, Skyli Chia and one step-great grandchild, Adalyn Fulton.

Also surviving is one brother, Albert “Teed” Sykes of Kirksville and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death was one daughter, Brenda Kay Sykes who died at the age of 3 days and one grandson, Jeremy Sykes; his parents, Lee and Anne Sykes; 3 brothers, Clarence, Chester and Carlyle Sykes and 2 sisters, Geneva Sykes who died in early childhood and Mary Sykes Paul. Also preceding him in death were four brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law.

Woodrow was a very faithful member of the Hurdland Baptist Church where he had served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and trustee until ill health limited his participation. He loved the Lord and served Him for the last 50 years. He was so well loved by both family and friends, and will be sadly missed.

Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2010, at the Davis-Playle-Hudson Rimer Funeral Home in Kirksville. Reverend Robert Shobe officiated the services. Music was provided by Susie Shobe.

Burial with full military honors was held in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery at Hurdland, MO.

Conducted by the Cyril Graham American Legion Post # 261, Knox County Memorial Post # 4822 V.F.W., the Missouri Funeral Honors Team and the Patriot Riders.

Casket bearers were his grandsons: Shane & Shannon Dixson, Uriah, Jacob and Nehemiah Yager and grandsons-in-law Wes Blankenship and Paul Chia.

Honorary casket bearers were Larry Sykes, Chris Harrison, Dale Laske, Vic Peterson and Darin Yoakum.

Memorials may be made to the Hurdland Baptist Church or Hospice of Northeast Missouri.

Memorials may be left at or mailed to Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer-Funeral Home, 2100 East Shepherd Ave., Kirksville, MO 63501.