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Helen Edith Gifford (Sykes) Myers, 86, of Bolivar, Missouri formerly of Newark, Missouri, died Sunday, February 13, 2011, at the Parkview Healthcare Facility in Bolivar, Missouri.

Helen was born on July 28, 1924, in Edina, Missouri, the daughter of Ernest Valentine and Nellie Marie Cleary Gifford.

She attended the Kirksville Elementary and High Schools, graduating in the Class of 1942. Helen graduated from the Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, in 1963, with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. After college, she taught Home Economics and English at Brashear High School, Knox County High School, Wyaconda High School and Philadelphia High School prior to her retirement after 25 years of teaching.

She remained friends with many of her students and fellow teachers. She loved music and played cello with the Quincy Symphonic Orchestra. She belonged to several professional organizations, Alpha Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, State Teacher’s Association and the Community Teachers’ Association.

Helen was a member of the Newark Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school, the Newark Homemakers Club, Ladies Auxiliary Post #569 and the Junior Auxiliary Leaders.

On July 16, 1943, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Helen married Private Carlile Sykes, and to this union three children were born.

On August 13, 1976, she married Clyde Myers of Newark, Missouri.

Helen is survived by two children; Janice Elaine Thomas and her husband Don Thomas of Bolivar, Missouri and Timothy Carlisle Sykes and his wife, Debbie Sykes of Dallas, Texas; two stepchildren, Sam Myers and his wife Vickie of Washington, D.C. and Beth Frye of Columbia, Missouri; a brother, Robert Gifford and his wife, Jackie and a sister, Virginia Luciani and her husband Frank, all of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Helen has thirteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, son, Gary Michael Sykes and a great-grandson, Derrick Hettinger.

Funeral services were 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at the Doss Funeral Home in Edina, Missouri.

Burial was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Hurdland, Missouri.

Music was provided by her granddaughter, Ashley Raines, on violin and casket bearers were Pete Robertson, Tony Hettinger, Jeffrey James, Tobey Raines, Zel Eaton, Staci Robertson, Kevin Sykes, Troy Sykes and Marty Dale Sykes.

An expression of sympathy in memory of Helen Sykes Myers may be left to the Hospice of Bolivar, Missouri. A memorial may be left at or mailed to the Doss Funeral Home 208 N. 4th Street, Edina, Missouri 63537.