Joanna Marie VanHille Sykes(1935 - 2014)

Joanna Marie Van Hille Sykes
February 4, 1935 - January 11, 2014
Resident of Orinda
Joanna Marie Van Hille Sykes born February 4, 1935 in Elizabeth, New Jersey passed away peacefully on January 11, 2014 in Orinda, California after a long and courageous battle with cancer. A graduate of Contra Costa College and San Francisco State University, Joanna spent forty years as a schoolteacher in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, most of it at Sheldon Elementary School where she happily taught kindergarten for many years. An inspiring teacher beloved by students and parents, Joanna brought joy and her love for learning and creating directly into the classroom. In addition to being a gifted teacher, she generously mentored other teachers, sharing her time, energy, and expertise. Throughout her life, Joanna appreciated art in its many forms and pursued her passion for music, Hawaii, and friends. A lifelong dog lover, Joanna raised and trained Springer Spaniels and delighted in visits from neighborhood canines. Joanna was married to Raymond Sykes for twenty years. Her positive outlook on life will be missed by family, her many friends, and neighbors. Joanna's colleagues from Sheldon Elementary school will be holding a private memorial on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Remembrance gifts may be made to the National and the Saint Jude Foundation.


Published in Contra Costa Times on Feb. 2, 2014