Cover photo for Willis James Sykes, Jr.'s Obituary
Willis James Sykes, Jr. Profile Photo
1950 James 2024

Willis James Sykes, Jr.

May 19, 1950 — May 3, 2024


Mr. Willis “James” Sykes, Jr., 73, passed away at his home on Friday, May 3, 2024. 

James was born May 19, 1950 in Alamance County to Willis James Sykes, Sr. and Artelia Reid Sykes. James was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy Whitesell Sykes and his parents. James is survived by his sons, Travis Sykes of Elon, Michael Sykes (Sabina Bounya) of Greensboro; grandchildren, Sierra and Levi Sykes, Madison and Shannon Hobbs; brother-in-law, Clayton Whitesell; and sister-in-law, Patricia Billings. 

James graduated from Eastern Alamance High School, as well as Technical College of Alamance (TCA), earning a degree in drafting. James was drafted and proudly spent four years serving in the Army. He worked in the motorpool at the Pentagon, where he was able to spend time performing bodywork and repair vehicles, which he enjoyed. While stationed at the Pentagon, James would often travel home to visit Dorothy every chance that he had. 

James spent time working for several convenience stores and moved up the ladder to a District Manager for Seven Eleven, Fast Fare and The Pantry. James also worked for Engineered Controls, as well as Quality Associates. He was a dedicated family man who knew the importance of teaching his sons a strong work ethic, but also enjoyed his family time. 

James spent his retirement years with loved ones and developing hobbies. James and Dorothy loved to head out to the Flea Market to sell miscellaneous items or to yard sales to buy all sorts of goods, pottery being on the top of the list. They both always enjoyed finding a good deal on just about anything. James had a 1939 Chevrolet Sedan that he loved to take to local car shows with his son, Travis, while getting to spend time with his friends there. During the warmer months he loved to be outside; he would almost always be found on the front porch drinking his coffee and talking on the phone, out in the workshop, or mowing the lawn. James is fondly remembered by everyone who knew him for his great stories, and willingness to always lend a helping hand or a kind word. 

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 1 PM at Bethlehem Christian Church with interment to follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends on Friday, May 10, 2024, from 5 – 7 PM at Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory. 

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 10, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory

2205 S Church St, Burlington, NC 27215

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 11, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Bethlehem Christian Church Cemetery

3625 Altamahaw Church St, Elon, NC 27244

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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