William Sykes Harris
Funeral Date: 1/17/2008

Obituary:
William Sykes Harris, age 89 of Warren, Arkansas died Tuesday, January 15, at home. He was born October 17, 1918 in Bradley County, Arkansas a son of the late V. B. Harris and Luna Sykes Harris. He received his education in the Warren Public School System, Arkansas A & M College for 2 years and was an l941 graduate of the University of Arkansas- Fayetteville. He entered the U S. Army Air Corp and served as a pilot and instructor in the Eastern Flying Command stationed at Moultrie, Georgia until the end of World War II. He returned to Warren in 1949 and joined Sam Dixon Hardwood Flooring Company; in 1953 became manager of Hardwood Sales for Bradley Lumber Company of Arkansas. In 1958 he and the late Jess W. Wilson, Dallas, Texas founded Wilson Oak Flooring and manufactured hardwood parquet flooring. In 1960 he became sole owner and renamed the company Sykes Flooring Company. In 1979 he sold to Masonite Corporation and retired. Mr. Harris served as president of the American Parquet Association for 17 years. Mr. Harris was a contemporary of Charlie Tibbals, Allen Harris and Robert W. (Bob) Anderson, other pioneers in the American wood flooring business. He was very proud of the fact that for almost 25 years he ran a successful family owned and operated wood flooring business. He was a past member and president of the Warren Rotary Club, received the Bradley County Citizen of the Year award, a founding member and past president of the Warren Country Club, he was a member of First United Methodist Church and past chairman of the Administrative Board of the church. He was a director of Warren Bank and Trust Company for 30 years and served on a number of the banks committees. Mr. Harris was especially proud of being appointed by Governor Bill Clinton in 1983 to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas where he served a 10 year term, 2 years as chairman. On retiring from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees he was named honorary citizen of Fayetteville, Arkansas and presented a key to the city. At the time of his death Mr. Harris was Board of Trustee Emeritus of the University of Arkansas. For 10 years he served as a director of the University of Arkansas Foundation and as a member of the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Board. In 1993 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Razorback Foundation. In 1995 he received the University of Arkansas at Monticello Alumni Award for Achievement and Merit. He served as a director of the Cotton Bowl Association for 5 years. On May 18, 1996 he was presented the Chancellors Award from the University of Arkansas Medical Center, Little Rock. Mr. Harris loved to duck hunt and entertained many customers and friends at the “Pot Hole” near Arkansas City on his floating blind with kitchen. He married Mary Steed Harris on May 2, 1943 at Montgomery, Ala. and she died August 31, 2006; Surviving is a daughter Sally Harris Barnett and spouse Daniel, Casscoe, Ark; a sister Frances Harris Hedrick, Warren, Ark; 5 grandchildren Beth Burch and spouse Michael, Nashville, Tenn.; Laura Weatherford and spouse Jay, Stuttgart, Ark, Daniel Barnett, Jr. and spouse Nicole, Benton, Ark. and David Barnett and spouse Crystal, Casscoe, Ark. and Sykes Harris, III, Nashville, Tenn; 7 great grandchildren Jeremy Burch, Nashville, Tenn., Matthew Mitchell, Logan Mitchell and Jake Weatherford all of Stuttgart, Ark, Andrew Barnett and Ashlyn Barnett, Benton, Ark. and Avery Barnett, Casscoe, Ark.. A son William Sykes Harris, Jr. also preceded him in death. The entire family expresses appreciation and gratitude to Eva Judware and Sarah Spaulding for the love and care given to Sykes Harris. Funeral services were 1:30 pm Thursday January 17, at First United Methodist Church with Rev. John Dill and Rev. David Crooks officiating. Mary Lou Martin was organist and soloist was Tom McBee. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery Donor choice memorials preferred. Arrangements by Frazer’s Funeral Home of Warren. Active pallbearers were Steve Richardson, Tommy Maxwell, Tommy Larance, Dickie Hedrick, Carlton Davis and Calvin Heird. Honorary pallbearers were Larry Derby, Jackie Miller, Gerald Burton, Sam Fullerton, R.V. Warner, Dr. Kerry Pennington, members Fisherman’s Sunday School Class and the Board ofDirectors of Warren Bank and Trust Co. Online guestbook www.frazerfuneralhome.com.

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Guestbook

Name: Cliff Ferrell
Message: We will have all of you in our thoughts and prayers. God bless.

Name: Tom Ed Wright
Message: My father was one of the "first" to work at Wilson Oak. Mr. Harris was a true friend to my father Herbert L. Wright. Mr. Harris NEVER thought he was better than any one else. He was a great man and made a great influnce in my young live as a kid. He will be greatly missed, and a song ask this question, "who is going to fill his shoes?" Tom E. Wright

Name: Tanya Jones Johnson
Message: BETH AND FAMILY I WANT TO SAY THAT I AM TRULY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. YOUR FATHER TOUCHED MANY PEOPLE DURING HIS LIFE AND HAS BEEN A GREAT LEGACY TO ALL WHO KNEW HIM. I AM A CLASSMATE OF BETH'S AND YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. MAY GOD GIVE YOU STRENGTH DURING THIS TIME

Name: Brenda Tooke Reynolds
Message: You are in my prayers.

Name: Cassidy Herring Cathey
Message: My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time. I thought very highly of Mr. and Mrs. Harris.

Name: Charlotte Denton
Message: My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Mr and Mrs Harris were such gracious, loving people and will be missed. They made a mark on Warren and Bradley county that will endure.

Name: David Reaves
Message: Pam's and my prayers go out to Mr. Sykes' family. We all share in the sorrow of losing one of the great gentlemen of Warren.

Name: Phil Matthews
Message: Glad I had the opportunity to tell him how much he meant to me. He was a great mentor and counselor.

Name:
Message: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, Mr. Sykes will be greatly missed.

Name: Billy & Tanya Waldrop
Message: Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Name: Bill Norman
Message: When I lived in Crossett I had many occasions to meet and work with my friend Sykes Harris on south Arkansas projects. He was a great Arkansan. My sympathy to the family.

Name: French and Judy Wynne
Message: Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Name: Mary Morgan Hilton
Message: Sykes was like a brother to my dad, Morgan. He was a true southern gentlemen. The world was a better place for having him in it and now heaven is! Morgan is soooo happy to have his brother with him!!

Name: Tom Anderson
Message: Sally: I was deeply saddened to learn of your father's passing. I remember he was rushed to the hospital when we were there in December and have wondered how he was doing, I am so sorry. Again my deepest sympathy to your and your family. Tom Anderson