I did not know this guest book existed until now. I will spread the word because I know there are so many of Larry's friends that would like to write a tribute. Larry had so many friends that would like to know about this excellent venue for a remembrance.
Larry was a giant of a man with a heart the size of Texas University and Kappa Sigma rolled into one. He was the kindest, gentlest, most caring, considerate and loving man I ever knew. Humility, humor, self deprecation, loyalty, a friend's friend, all attempt to characterize Larry/Tree, but fall short of describing his depth of character and compassionate nature.
We met literally at the Kappa Sig House at 203 W. 19th in 1954 at a rush party when Larry enrolled at Texas. He was 6'2-3" tall then and actually became "Tree" over the next few years going about 6'6-7". We were friends instantly it seemed and remained close friends until his job change to Special Councilor to The Lord. I considered Larry one of the, if not the, best friend I ever had. We were different from each other but I loved Larry and the entire Sikes family immeasurably, as I do today.
And what a family Larry and Sue started, Wow! They didn't do anything halfway. Their kids Mark and Allyson, and their spouses Marlee and Dan, and grand children Bennett and Mallory Sikes, and Jake, Sutton, Whit and Wynn Bartlett are all exemplary individuals, in so many different ways. Camelot would be proud by comparison.
Memories - Larry's car,'the white delight' enabled me to have regular dates each week. Once he borrowed $20 from me at one of those lean times, we both had; he was so appreciative, that he 'gave me' TWD for the next semester and he would ask me if he wanted to use it; I got him about 1,000 dates, and when I graduated to Houston and Arthur Andersen, what did he do on his own? Immediately found the love of his life Sue Chipley, a beautiful and brilliant chemist-to-be from San Antonio, and the rest is history. The Sikes chemistry really took off from there. After that I tried to get out of the dating business.
Final story, promise! As the Sikes guests one weekend at Comanche Caves in Hunt, Jim Westmoreland [and Mary Sue], Mike Pickering[and Mary Ann], Tree and I had a great golf match [not quite the caliber of "The Match"] but close and competitive. Larry and Jim had Pick and I down for the count going into 18 [so they won in medal play], so Pick and I pressed for even. Tree, Jim and Pick were in the rough and I luckily stayed in the fairway. My third shot to the elevated green was 'skulled' but high enough to reach bounce up on the front of the green, leaving a 30' uphill put. I putted up and by the pin by about 3-4 feet, leaving an impossiblly tough downhill breaker coming back, no way a gimme! Larry, always the gentlemen, immediately walked up and knocked the ball back, saying "that's too good, congratulations". I was literally on the verge of tears of joy, relief, but mostly admiration for the guy that always gave so much more than he expected to receive!
But there you are, A Man in Full, that everyone called TREE,doing his thing. I so wished that I could have been the friend back to him that he was to me.
There are so many more great Tree stories that memoralized the gifts of friendship, humility and caring that was Tree Sikes. If there was such an award...Larry would have easily won, "The Most Popular Tau Kappa Sig of all time". A great attorney, husband, dad, granddad and friend!
Tree, I don't know when your days off are in heaven, but when time permits 'give us a shout', as you said so many times. We miss you a lot and that disarming smile. Warmest personal regards and blessings ol' pal!
Your loving friend, Dick Kilday
P. S. I apologize for the length of this tribute, and for writing this so long after Larry had to leave for more important service, dk
August 8, 2016, two years+ late but heartfelt.
Larry was a really good guy. What ever KE came up with his name "TREE" made larry a real star. He was as nice a guy one would ever want to know. No one can replace our "Tree". our buddy.
Dear Sue - My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Sue - We were sorry to hear about our old friend Tree's death. We are both thinking about you and yours at this sad time. Love to all. Myra and Bobby Lancaster
Allyson we would like to send our sincere sympathy in regards to your love one, may you have the Lord's peace. The Family of Birdie Darden,(Wilford and Lanita