(July 19, 1955 – January 28, 2017)
Deborah Douglas Sykes, age 61, passed away on January 28, 2017 in Baylor All-Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. She was a gifted educator, a true friend to many, a loving mother, grandmother and wife. Deborah was born July 19, 1955 in Lubbock, Texas to Dr. R.C. and Ruth Douglas and was a graduate of Lubbock High School in 1973. She attended Texas Tech University where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She went on to earn her Master’s in Education from Angelo State University. Deborah married Tom Sykes of Ballinger, Texas on August 6, 1977. She began her teaching career in Colorado City, Texas before moving to Ballinger. After briefly teaching at Talpa Centennial, she became a junior high teacher for Ballinger ISD where she taught until her retirement in 2009. Among her students, peers, and administrators, she was highly regarded for her creativity and passion in the classroom and for her countless positive impacts on young lives in some of their most formative junior high school years. She possessed genuine interest in each student she encountered and her enthusiasm for education was passed along to her students. Deborah was filled with God’s grace and compassion. She was a true servant of Christ who led by example, always putting others before herself. Her testimony, whether at home, in the community, or in the classroom, was one of beauty, integrity and love, and all who encountered her were witness to these truths. A lifelong Presbyterian, Deborah was an active member in First Presbyterian Church of Ballinger where she served as an Elder, Sunday school teacher, and was in the choir. Deborah is survived by her husband Tom of Granbury, son Tanner Sykes and wife Jennifer of Houston, and her daughter Leslie and husband Jeff Pair of Glen Rose. She is also survived by her five grandchildren Luke McCain Sykes, Sawyer David Sykes, Cade Lewis Sykes, Jill Tatum Pair and John Stryker Pair. Other survivors include her mother-in-law Mary Sykes, sister-in-law Alison Sykes, brother-in-law Ted Sykes, sister and brother- in-law, Ann and Kenneth Kerr, sister-in-law Dorothy Douglas, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews – all of whom she loved dearly. Deborah was preceded in death by her parents Dr. R.C Douglas and wife Ruth, father-in-law Billy C. Sykes, brother Jack Douglas, and niece Jill Kerr Maxwell. Visitation will be from 6 – 8 p.m. at Lange Funeral Home in Ballinger, Texas on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 with a Celebration of Life service at First Presbyterian Church in Ballinger on Thursday, February 2, at 1:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org/donate).