FAYE ANNETTE SYKES MORRONI
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January 11, 2013
It is with overwhelming sadness that we announce the death on January 11, 2013 of Faye Annette Sykes Morroni, much loved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and community member. She was 66 years old and died unexpectedly.
Annette was born and raised in Key West, Florida, as a proud 5th generation Conch. She was valedictorian of Key West High School, a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the Conchette's dance team, and homecoming queen. She went on to study English at the University of Florida (receiving her degree with top honors), where she was a Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority sister, and met her husband of 44 years, Henry 'Hank' Morroni. They married in 1968. From their first date until the day Annette died, they were completely inseparable.
After college, Annette moved to Fort Myers, Hank's hometown, where she was an English and Spanish teacher at Lee Middle School, vice president of John Morroni Flower Farm, owner of Abbey's Flowers, and a real estate salesperson. During this time, she gained a Masters Degree in Education from the University of South Florida.
Her true vocation was community service, and it is in this domain that she made her lasting mark. Among her many involvements, she was a founding member and president of Town and Gown of Florida Gulf Coast University, president of the Junior League of Fort Myers, president of Fort Myers Woman's Community Club, chairman of Holiday House at the Edison Winter Estate, on the board of directors of the Edison Pageant of Light, and chairman of the Edison Pageant of Light Coronation and King and Queen's Balls. She was a member of the development committee for Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall and the advisory boards of the Murphy/Burroughs Home, the Public Broadcasting Service and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.
Annette, who had an encyclopedic knowledge Florida's flora, was president of Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council and Periwinkle Garden Club. Of her many accomplishments in this role, she was most proud of the planting of the Arbor Day oaks at Edison College, which flourish to this day. She also led the drive to install historical preservation markers at Edison Park School and the Bell Tower Mall for the Tamiami Trail (the Florida Department of Transportation installed 84 signs designating the Tamiami Trail through Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties).
Her greatest passion was for education: she was on the Edison College Endowment Board of Trustees, University of South Florida Advisory Council, president of the Canterbury School Parent's Association and Chairman of the Canterbury School Board of Trustees from 1988-1997 (and a board member for 27 years!).
Annette was the 1988 Gannett Foundation Heart of Gold award finalist for the Lee County area's most outstanding humanitarian and a 1983 and 1984 finalist for Outstanding Woman in Lee County.
She had great style and wore hats beautifully. She read voraciously and never lost a game of Trivial Pursuit.
In recent years she focused on her family (thrilled by the arrival of three grandchildren in less than two years, all of whom have a special tree planted in the garden), her beautiful garden which is a haven for many and varied bird and butterfly species, her cats, the dog called Bogey and a 'pet' raccoon.
Annette was preceded in death by her grandparents and her father, Grady B. Sykes.
She is survived by her devoted and loving husband Hank, her three children Chelsea (and husband Joe), Chloe (and partner Bill) and Tristan (and wife Kristen), her three grandsons, Miles, Nicholas and Wyatt, her mother Faye Niles Sykes, her sisters Marilyn Sykes Bryant (and husband Andy) and Karen Sykes Yanchunis (and husband Jim), her brother Grady Sykes, her nephews Grady Sykes III, Bradley Sykes and Adam Yanchunis, her niece, Autumn Yanchunis, and uncle George H. Sykes (and wife Vera). We can't believe she is gone. She was one of kind.
Published in The News-Press on Jan. 27, 2013