Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Friends pay tributes to Sheila Sykes
THE best friends of a woman who went missing near a York village have paid tribute to their “vibrant, bubbly and caring” friend.
Sheila Sykes, 73, was well-known in York, living in Dunnington all of her life and dedicating much of her time to helping others and supporting charities.
She went missing last Friday, having caught a bus from Dunnington to Stamford Bridge. Following a major search operation, a body found in the River Derwent near Scoreby Wood, Kexby, was confirmed to be that of Mrs Sykes, an inquest heard this week.
Mrs Sykes was part of a close group of eight friends, who called themselves the “coffee morning girls”, which initially started meeting in Dunnington 40 years ago.
They said she had appeared her normal bubbly self in the days running up to her disappearance and they have been devastated by what has happened.
Mrs Sykes dedicated her life to helping others – regularly popping in to visit elderly neighbours and making hospital visits as well as fundraising for charities including York Against Motor Neurone Disease (YAMND), of which she was a founding member.
Friend Carol Martin said: “Sheila was an inspiration to us all. She never stopped.
“She lit up the room with her laughter, she was always laughing. She will never be forgotten. She made such an impact on our lives.”
Mrs Sykes, who leaves a husband Tony and son David, worked as a supervisor at Rowntrees, before working at the local fruit shop in Dunnington and going on to become a carer for elderly people.
Sue Moore, a friend since childhood, said Mrs Sykes was a “carer and she cared” and was a thoughtful person who “knew you wanted help before you knew it yourself”.
She said: “If you thought you had something to worry about and mentioned it to Sheila you came away thinking, ‘that’s nothing’.
“She will be remembered for doing good. She spent her whole life doing good.”
Her funeral will be held at St Nicholas Church, Dunnington, on March 20.