EDWARD "GENE" EUGENE SIKES
1929 - 2010

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EDWARD "GENE" EUGENE SIKES - 81 -
PLANT CITY - Edward "Gene" Eugene Sikes, of Plant City, Florida, passed away on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, in Nichols, Florida due to liver failure. He was born March 11, 1929 in Nichols, Florida. He was a 1947 graduate of Mulberry High School, where he was a stellar student and athlete excelling in football, basketball, and baseball. He was the first Mulberry athlete selected All District in three different sports. His love of sports continued through his semi-pro career with the Plant City Berries, as an avid supporter of the FSU Seminoles, and golf and fishing. He was a 1951 graduate of FSU, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity's first pledge class. After college he served in the United States Navy attaining the rank of Lieutenant, and was a veteran of the Korean War stationed on the USS Coney.
 His career began with Miller Bearing Company then worked 35 years in the bearing business in Lakeland and Tampa. He later became a vital part of the growth and development of Ball and Roller Bearing Company, serving as president. During his tenure, he was elected as the Southeastern Region Director of the Bearing Specialists Association of North America. He also served on the Bearing Manufacturers Advisory Boards and regional manager for Coastal Plains and Kaman Technology from which he retired. He was a member of First Methodist Church of Plant City, the Plant City Golf and Country Club, Walden Lake Golf and Country Club, Lone Palm Golf and Country Club, and Plant City Elks Club, and he was co-owner of SP Mobile Home Park in Bartow.
 >He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Margaret McLaughlin Sikes; children M.A. Peggy Sikes of Duluth, Georgia, Debby Sikes Heyman (Kurt) of Longwood, and Stephen Sikes (Tina) of Dover; siblings Mary Clements of Lakeland, Laura Bell of Macon, Georgia, and Linda Bostic of Fernandina Beach; and grandchildren Shane and Spencer Spikes, and Jackson and Luke Heyman.
 Services will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at First United Methodist Church of Plant City, 303 North Evers Street, where the family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 A.M. Interment to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Special thanks to the Palliative Care Unit at Lakeland Care Unit of Lakeland Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Luis Nardella and Dr. Louis Saco for their continuous care, support, and love; both are exceptional examples of the Hippocratic Oath. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Memorial Fund, Florida United Methodist Children's Home, P.O. Box 62999, Deltona, Florida 32728-9988, and/or the Fisher House, James A. Haley VA Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa 33612. Expressions of condolence at www.hopewellfuneral.com. – Ledger, May 20, 2010

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