On June 11, 2020, Mary Constance “Connie” Newton Sykes, loving mother and grandmother, passed away at the age of 85.
Connie was born Dec. 17, 1934 in Portland, Oregon to Paige and Kathleen Newton. She grew up in Lake Oswego and attended Lewis and Clark College. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to New York City to attend Union Theological Seminary, where she received a Masters of Divinity. In 1961, she married John Sykes and accompanied him to the east side of Cleveland where she would reside until her passing. They raised three sons, David, Brian, and Kevin, divorcing in 1977. She never remarried.
She had a passion for music from a very early age, playing clarinet, bassoon, and piano among a few others. She loved orchestral music and choral music, and was a long-time member of the Euclid Civic Orchestra.
A devoted member of Shoregate Methodist Church in Willowick, Ohio, she was a member of the Stephen Ministry as well as the choir and bell choir. In the early 1980’s, she became choir director, a position she would love dearly and hold for 3 decades. She worked as an engraver for many years, eventually setting up her own small engraving business. She also was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Paige and Kathleen, as well as her closest friends JoAnne Welker and Karen Mausser. She is survived by her brother Bill Newton of Portland, three sons, David Sykes of Portland, Brian Sykes (Alisa) of Mentor-on-the-Lake, and Kevin (Lisa), and 5 grandchildren, whom she loved and was very proud of: Clint, Kylie, Kendall, Simone, and Macallister.
A memorial service will be held at Shoregate Methodist Church in Willowick at some point in the future once services and gatherings are considered safer following the pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to Shoregate United Methodist Church, 30500 Bayridge Boulevard, Willowick, OH 44095.