Cover photo for Taylor Baxton Sykes's Obituary
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1940 Taylor 2024

Taylor Baxton Sykes

June 17, 1940 — May 5, 2024

Maryville

Taylor Baxton Sykes, 83, of Maryville, Tennessee passed away peacefully Sunday, May 5, 2024, with family by his side.  Taylor was born on June 17th, 1940, in Hillsborough, North Carolina.  After graduating from Hillsborough High School, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy during the Vietnam War.  Taylor first met Linda in 1960 while he was stationed in San Diego, and they married six years later.  They gained lifetime friends throughout Taylor’s Navy career, during which he worked on electronics and simulators mainly in the Southeast U.S.  Taylor retired as a Chief Petty Officer in Newport, Rhode Island with 20 years of service.  He then relocated with his family to Maryville, embarking on a second career with Xerox where he worked tirelessly for 18 years.  His overtime wages there alone funded both of his daughters’ college educations. 

Bicycling was a true passion of his: he improved and managed his health with his bike rides, and in retirement he rode thousands of miles per year.  Taylor and Linda enjoyed camping throughout their 57 years of marriage, and they also gained many lifelong friendships while wintering in Florida for over two decades.  A devoted family man, Taylor’s love and pride of his family knew no bounds.  We will especially miss his sense of humor and his caring nature toward family and friends.

Taylor was predeceased by his parents, Roland and Vera Cook Sykes, and brother Clinton Sykes. He is survived by his loving wife Linda, daughters Talena (Mark) Douglass and Tonya (Rob) Hancock; devoted and beloved grandsons Alexander William Douglass, Isaac Taylor Douglass and Robert Baxton Hancock; and many beloved nieces and nephews.  In honoring his memory, may we find solace in the comfort of the wind in our face while we ride, or enjoying friends and family around a campfire. 

The Family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in the Smith Trinity Chapel with a Celebration of Taylor’s life to follow at 2:00 PM.  The interment with military honors will follow at Grandview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to causes Taylor felt strongly about, woundedwarriors.org or jeffrothcyclingfoundation.org. Condolences may be shared through Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Taylor Baxton Sykes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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