Henry Coleman Sikes

Obituary
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  • "My deepest sympathy to such a great man, who touched and..."
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    - Sandy & Bill Winston
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    - Jacob Young
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Henry Coleman Sikes, 96, beloved by all who knew him, died on the morning of Saturday, November 8. Service will be today November 11, 2014, 2 p.m. from Wedowee First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Russell Hestley and the Rev. John Tal Murphee officiating. Burial will follow at the Wedowee City Cemetery with Benefield Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. He was a proud son of Randolph County, having lived most of his life in the town of Wedowee. His long life began on May 12, 1918, when he was born to Henry Edgar Sikes and Myrtle Lee Bolt. He was one of 15 brothers and sisters, all of whom he cared for deeply to the end of his days. He was preceded in death by all but Katherine Sikes Parkerson, of Lagrange, Ga. and Guy Sikes, of Oxford. On June 10, 1950, Coleman married the love of his life, the woman with whom he would spend 60 happy years, Etta Frances Dobson. Together, these Randolph County natives earned their Master's Degrees at Auburn University, becoming one of the first married couples ever to do so. They both became educators, and Coleman inspired generations of students during his thirty-eight years in the profession. He spent most of his career at Randolph County High, where he was variously a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal and a librarian. Even in his old age, he could scarcely walk down the streets of Wedowee without a former student greeting him with a big smile and fond memories. He touched many lives in his career and he cared deeply for his students. Though decades would pass since he had taught them, he rarely forgot their faces or names and loved nothing more than to see them succeed. Coleman was also a community and civic leader. He was an active member of both the Masonic Lodge and the Kiwanis Club of Wedowee, as well as a long-time supporter of the local Republican party. As a member of the First Methodist Church of Wedowee, he taught Sunday School for many years. He loved to play the piano, especially his favorite hymns. He was a lover of nature and enjoyed raising animals and gardening. He particularly loved taking walks, relishing the beauty of God's creation around him. Despite all of his impressive professional and civic accomplishments, Coleman's family was his greatest love. Coleman had three children with his precious wife, Frances - Fred Sikes (Rosalind), Anita Waldrop and Ronnie Sikes (Tonya). He was a loving grandfather to five grandchildren, Jamie East, Jenny Milligan, Laura Sikes, Drew Sikes and Kyle Sikes and a great-grandfather to six. His family loved him enormously and count themselves lucky to have had such a strong, constant, and caring figure in their lives. Throughout his years, Coleman was a kind and wise man, known by all for his abiding love for Jesus Christ. The light of his faith shone brightly within him for all to see, even in his very final days. His walk with the Lord was long, and his belief was abiding. Through his family, his community, and his career, he showed what it meant to be a true man of God. Though Coleman has moved on to his reward, there are many here who will never forget what a blessing it was to have known such a wonderful man. He will be missed. Flowers will be accepted but the family would prefer donations to the Wedowee First United Methodist Church Building Fund, PO Box 151, Wedowee, AL 36278.
Published in The Anniston Star on Nov. 11, 2014