June 21, 2013
Joan V. Sykes
April 9, 1920 - June 18, 2013
Joan V. Sykes passed away on June 18, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. She was 93.
Born on Staten Island on April 9, 1920, she was the daughter of Herman and Margaret Kestler. Joan lived on Staten Island until 1957 when she and her husband, Edward C. Sykes and four children moved to Narrowsburg (Tusten) and operated a chicken farm. She quickly adapted to farming, raising laying chickens, cows, pigs and growing her own vegetables and canning them. She was a wonderful cook and served many guests her cakes, pies, as well as her German/Irish dishes. After losing the farm to a fire, the family moved to Hankins in 1959, where they owned and operated the Hankins House. She continued to use her skills as a great cook to serve wonderful meals to many guests. Her Sunday smorgasbord was a favorite of many who traveled long distances to partake. A fifth child was born to them in Hankins.
Joan was loved by all who knew her. Her grace and elegance was only surpassed by her kindness and goodness. She served as a past president of the CRMC-Grover Hermann division ladies auxiliary. She was also a charter member of Alan Milk Memorial Post VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She was a retired bookkeeper for Mike Preis Insurance, and kept herself mentally active doing crossword puzzles daily.
Joan is survived by five children: Edward T. Sykes (Joyce), Dr. Maureen Whipple, Thomas Sykes, Joan Bryson (Barry) and Kate Bowers (Dan); 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Edward; her sister, Margaret; her brother, Warren and by her son-in-law, Bob Whipple.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, Callicoon, NY. Father Charles O’Connor will officiate.
Burial will be in Callicoon Cemetery, Callicoon, NY.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, 800 Stonybrook Court, Newburgh, NY 12550.
Robert Henry Ruebman
Bob was born in the Callicoon Hospital and grew up on the dairy farm of his parents, Bill and Hilda, on Buck Brook. He attended the one room school house on Buck Brook and then graduated at 15 years old from Callicoon Central School.
He attended Cornell University, from which he graduated at 19, and then went into the U.S. Army as a lieutenant. He served in Seoul during the Korean War. He received a Master’s Degree in English at UCLA and, after time in Europe, further graduate work at Stanford and the University of Michigan, and working in Washington, D.C., he taught English at Albany (CA) High School. He was honored with a fellowship which gave him the opportunity to teach English literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
Eventually he followed his passion and became a dealer in military antiques. He was known affectionately as “Bayonet Bob.”
Bob’s heart always belonged to his Buck Brook farm, and he spent as much time there as possible, collecting historic equipment, improving the surroundings and entertaining family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Wendy; his son, Paul and his wife, Inger; his daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband Ron; four grandchildren, Oscar, Miles, Veronica and Bobbi; and his sister, Norma Wightman, and her husband Peter. Also missing him are his nieces, Barbara and Karen, and his nephews, Paul and Glen.
Bob’s ashes will be buried in a private ceremony, beside his parents and brother, Bill, overlooking his beloved farm.