Hap Sykes

Abbott Barnes "Hap" Sykes, born July 20th, 1925 in Barbara, AR,1 was a professional baseball umpire from 1949-1955.


Sykes died on December 26th, 2012. He was buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa, TX.2


"Abbott Barnes Hap Sykes, age 87, of Odessa, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at home on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, after a short illness preceded by a severe stroke on August 24, 2004. He lost his ability to converse but remained upbeat and cheerful. The youngest of nine children, Hap was born to Abbott Barnes Sykes, Sr., and Samantha Taylor Sykes in Barber, Arkansas. He was raised mostly by his sisters following the death of his mother when he was two years old and attended country schools near Panama, Oklahoma. He served in the U.S. NavyPacific Theater. Hap returned briefly to Oklahoma then attended baseball umpire school in Corpus Christi where he was nicknamed Hap. He umpired in the Longhorn Baseball League of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Hap met Melba Preston in Big Spring, and they were married October 18, 1951. He worked at Meads Bakery, Bailey Griffith Tire, the U.S. Post Office, and sold specialty advertising for ShawBarton. The family moved to Odessa on July 4, 1959. In 1967, he began his own business, Hap Sykes Advertising Company. He also was involved in real estate. He was very frugal with his personal expenses but extremely generous and giving toward everyone else. He spent his life helping others. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Melba, of the home their daughter, Judy Dalton and husband, John, of Cloudcroft, New Mexico their sons, Barry Sykes and Steve Sykes, of Odessa and Nathan Sykes of Wilton Manors, Florida grandchildren, Stephanie Dalton Hines of Fort Worth Michael Dalton and wife, Nikki, of Woodland Park, Colorado and Jessica Dalton Wiggins and husband, Calvin, of Fort Worth greatgrandsons, Rowan Hines and Zane Dalton greatgranddaughter, Eisley Dalton stepgrandson, C.J. Wiggins and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express their appreciation to the wonderful staff of Hospice House Odessa and Home Hospice. They also acknowledge two special caregivers, Juanita Berzosa and Lupe Flores, for their kindness to Hap in his final days at home. Those hours will be treasured by his wife and children. Visitation with the family will be from 24 PM Sunday, December 30, 2012 at Sunset Funeral Home. Celebration of his life will be at 2:00 PM on Monday, December 31, 2012, at Grace Christian Fellowship, 3450 Billy Hext Road, Odessa, Texas 79765, followed by internment at Sunset Memorial Gardens."3