Waverly (Buck) Sykes, passed away peacefully at the age of 83, in Hendersonville, North Carolina on Friday, March 18, 2022. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on December 11, 1938.
As the son of the Naval Shipyard Fire Chief in Portsmouth, Virginia, he grew up in the shipyard and was frequently seen by many shipyard employees during the WWll era decked out in his GI apparel. Buck was a graduate of Wilson High School. He earned a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Duke University where he served as the Regimental Commander of the NROTC program. Upon graduation he accepted regular commission into the United States Marine Corps and obtained the rank of Major. During his commission he was an instructor at the Landing Force Training Unit, Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California with a MS degree in Operation Research.
As a Marine Force Recon Officer, he swam from submarines, jumped from airplanes, fought in combat, and was an exchange officer who served with the UK Royal Marines. Buck was a proud Vietnam Veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the Combat V, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Stars, the Meritorious Unit Citation of the Gallantry Cross with palm and frame to name a few of his many awards. In later years he worked for the United States Government General Accounting Office until he retired as a director.
In his retirement, he and his wife spent time traveling in Switzerland and fell in love with the Bernese Mountain Dog, since that time they have raised the dogs and became very active in the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America. Their dogs have won numerous advanced titles in obedience and working dog events.
Buck is predeceased by his parents, Waverly Sykes, Fire Chief NNSY and Elizabeth M. Sykes.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Priscilla; and three children, Phyllis Mesec (Chip), Mary Hawkins (Adam), and Michael Sykes (Karen); and his five grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Pat Sykes, and Brenda Riley (Mike); and a brother Bill (Marty) Sykes; and numerous nieces and nephews as well as his faithful and mischievous Berner, Benjamin.
A chapel service will be held with a full military escort and the inurnment will follow on Monday, September 19, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Berner-Garde Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Program, or to your favorite charity.