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Published on June 19, 2013

Joan V. Sykes passed away on June 18, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. She was 93.

Born on Staten Island on April 9, 1920, the daughter of Herman and Margaret Kestler, Joan lived on Staten Island until 1957 when she and her husband Edward C. Sykes and four children moved to Narrowsburg (Town of Tusten) and operated a chicken farm. She quickly adapted to farming, raising laying chickens, cows, pigs and growing her own vegetables and canning them. She was a wonderful cook and served many guests her cakes and pies, as well as her German/Irish dishes. After losing the farm to a fire, the family moved to Hankins in 1959, where they owned and operated the Hankins House. She continued to use her skills as a great cook to serve wonderful meals to many guests. Her Sunday smorgasbord was a favorite of many who traveled long distances to partake. A fifth child was born to the family in Hankins.

Joan was loved by all who knew her. Her grace and elegance was surpassed only by her kindness and goodness. She served as a past president of the Catskill Regional Medical Center Grover Herman Division Ladies Auxiliary. She was also a charter member of Alan Milk Memorial Post VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She was a retired bookkeeper for Mike Preis Insurance, and kept herself mentally active doing crossword puzzles daily.

Joan is survived by five children: Edward T. Sykes (Joyce), Dr. Maureen Whipple, Thomas Sykes, Joan Bryson (Barry), and Kate Bowers (Dan); 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Edward, her sister Margaret, her brother Warren and by her son-in-law Bob Whipple.

Friends may call Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Stewart–Murphy Funeral Home, 34 Upper Main St., Callicoon, NY from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, Callicoon, NY. Father Charles O’Connor will officiate.

Burial will be in Callicoon Cemetery, Callicoon, NY

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan, 800 Stonybrook Court, Newburgh, NY 12550.