Robert passed peacefully from this life the morning of January 31, 2022 after a gradual decline in health. Bob, as he was affectionately known, was born in Gary, Indiana to Jasper and Mary Sykes where he attended Roosevelt High School. He matriculated at Fisk University in Nashville TN where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy in 1969. Following his education at Fisk he pursued graduate classes at seminary studying the theology of the book of Revelations.
Following a stint as Human Resources Manager at Fermilab, America's premier physics and accelerator laboratory in Batavia Illinois, Bob was recruited to an executive position in Human Resources for the Washington Gas Light Company in Washington, D.C. in 1980. At the gas company Bob rose to become the Sr. Vice-President of Human Resources covering an employee population of over 2,500. Bob retired from this position in 2004.
In 2002, Bob married Virginia Williams in a beautiful Afro-centric ceremony at Savage Mills, Maryland. Bob's love of animals, inspired by a great uncle whose farm he visited every summer as a child, led him to pursue a life-long dream of owning his own farm. In 2005, he and his wife Ginger made the consequential life decision to purchase a 60-acre property in the bucolic farmland of Franklinton NC. They converted the property into Turtle Mist Farm™, a recognized venue for school events, farm stays and tasty meat and vegetables. With more than 17 animal species, Bob became an expert in the tactics of sustainable farming.
Bob is survived by his wife Ginger, his sister Sandra Tracy (Marshall), a stepdaughter Stephanie Williams, a stepson Kirk Williams, 4 grandchildren - Devin, Malia, Maiya, and Sierra and 7 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Jasper and Mary Sykes.