Heaven truly rejoiced, as a Beloved Daughter was called home. For indeed, she brought joy wherever she went. Shirley Lynn Sykes Knight, 79, passed quietly and peacefully into the loving arms of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, February 3, 2023. Her favorite Hymn was, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”, and that is truly the example by which she lived. She was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and her countenance always reflected her great testimony and love of our Savior and His Restored Gospel. Shirley showed her faith in everything she did as she taught each of us to love unconditionally, to forgive freely and that service is the true measure of our love of God. Family was everything to Shirley and she loved to entertain and literally feed the world. Her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered at her knee to be showered with love and wonderful food and laughter and memories. Her brother and sisters were her best friends, and every single niece and nephew called her Nana because she was so much more to them than just an aunt. Her influence for good was felt throughout her life as she faithfully served in every organization of The Church. Many lives were touched for good as she served in her favorite calling as an ordinance worker in the Lord’s Holy Temple. She was an extraordinary cook and was always the first to sign up to bring a meal to a sick friend or just someone in need. Shirley was a magnet and others were automatically attracted to her. She had lifelong friends with whom she always kept in touch, and she loved them dearly. In the days before her passing, each and every family member and friend who lives in Arizona came and knelt by her bed and whispered to her of their love and enduring respect for her. Many others who reside out of state, facetimed in order to see her beautiful face just once more and convey their love. We absolutely weep for our loss, but we rejoice for our Shirley and the wonderful reunions on the other side of the veil, for we know that Families are Forever! Shirley will be our mother, grandmother, sister, nana, aunt and friend for all Eternity!
Shirley Lynn Sykes was born on May 13, 1943, in Kirksville, Missouri. She was the third child born to Francis (Happy) Sykes and Margaret Strait Sykes joining her big brother Don and big sister Kay. Three years later the family found their true home when they moved to Mesa, Arizona. The family was complete when Shirley became an adoring older sister to Fleta and Francine. She was a darling little girl who was always a peacemaker and made friends so very easily. She was an amazing dancer and cheered on the Pom line at Mesa High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Gail Knight and they had three beautiful children, Christopher Gail Knight (Sue), Lori Lynn Hyland (Craig) and Tauna Kay Osborne (Preston). There was never a better mother than our Shirley for she truly adored those three little blessings. Her life was spent working, supporting and loving her babies, for even though they are grown, they will always be her babies!
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Don, and her sister, Kay. She leaves behind 3 children and spouses, 2 sisters, 15 grandchildren (including spouses) and 23 great-grandchildren, 28 nieces/nephew (including spouses) and 58 great and great-great nieces/nephews and many cousins.