A Private Catholic funeral service for Mrs. Frances Carol Carr Sykes, 75 of Tampa, Florida, who passed away surrounded by her loving family on July 12, 2020, will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd, 11:00 a.m., at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 1203 N. Nebraska Ave. Father Theobald Weria, officiating. Interment will be in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.
Frances was preceded by her parents the late George William, Jr. and Irene Caldwell Carr. Frances was educated in the Hillsborough County Public School System, attending Harlem Elementary School and in 1962 graduated with highest honors as valedictorian of her class from Howard W. Blake Junior-Senior High School. Frances chose to continue her studies at her mother’s alma mater, Florida A & M University. As a student in the School of Pharmacy, she earned the Lehn and Fink Gold Medal awarded to the graduating senior with the highest GPA and the Rexall Mortar and Pestle awarded for outstanding leadership. She graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. Frances interned at Tampa General Hospital, eventually taking a full-time position and becoming the first African-American woman pharmacist at the hospital. After a rewarding career of 33 years, in hospital and managed care pharmacy, she retired in 2000.
Frances was married to her high school sweetheart, Joseph Sykes, for more than 46 years and together they were blessed to have three daughters. She was a longtime member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, where she was an active member in the choir and served as a member of the School Board. Frances’ love for service was also exemplified through her 54 year membership in The Links Incorporated and her beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in which she was a Silver Star, denoting 25 years of continuous service. Throughout the years, Frances served on the Northside Mental Health Board of Directors, The Board of Trustees for the Henry B. Plant Museum, the Southwest Florida Regional Cancer Control Plan, The State of Florida Cancer Research and Advisory Board, the National FAMU Alumni Association and a charter member of the Greater Tampa Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and Club 44. She was also a dedicated and proud member of the Class of 1962 Howard W. Blake Junior-Senior High School alumni group. Frances will be especially remembered for her love for her children, her faith, service, a kind yet strong spirit, her love of sports and dancing.
She leaves to cherish memories and to continue to celebrate her life a devoted husband, Joseph Sykes; daughters, Carole Irene, Josette Rose, Stephanie Doreen; sister, Gladys Carr Blalock: sister-in-law, Dorothy Banks; nephew, Derrick Gaines (Stephanie); great nephews, Derrick Jr. and Myles Gaines; cousins, Bessie Rodriguez, Normita Rodriguez Jeffery (Tim), Antoinette Goodman, William Brown (Juliette), and Blanche White (Danny); the Preston and Fields families of Quincy, Florida. the Sykes and Gardner families of Tallahassee; members of the Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Tampa (FL) Chapter of The Links, Inc.; and a host of extended family and friends whose lives she touched as a friend, sorority sister, mentor, confidant, teacher, bonus mother and grandmother, cheerleader, decorator and loving person.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donors to honor her by contributing to the Frances C. Sykes Florida A&M University School of Pharmacy Scholarship. We are following CDC guidelines.
FAMU COLLEGE OF PHARMACY (Frances Carr Sykes Memorial)
1415 S. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Tallahassee FL 32307