Shirley Dykes (Harris) passed away peacefully at Community Hospice in Jacksonville after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s. She was our Mom, our cheerleader and the baker of spectacular desserts. She loved the Gators, spoiled her cats and fed the many birds who took up residence in her backyard. She loved puzzles—the harder the better– and lived for the visits from her grandchildren.
After attending the University of Florida she worked there for nearly 30 years at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Respected by her bosses, colleagues and students alike she received and proudly displayed the many accolades given to her. And despite the awards, she was most proud of being a surrogate mom to the many bewildered and homesick students she encountered at McCarty Hall. She was an ardent Gator fan and was never shy about offering coaching advice to the TV during particularly close games. She even joined in the impromptu victory parades down University Avenue well into her 80’s.
She is survived by four children: Dale Dykes, Debbie Dykes, Donna Quintard and Dana Dykes. Nine grandchildren: Kyler Dykes, Lauren Wasloski, Krista Wasloski, Cory Quintard, Halle Quintard, Monica Dykes, Kara Dykes, Dylan Dykes, Alyssa Dykes and one great-grandchild: Kylee Perez. We know she was greeted with open arms by our father Bernard Dykes (who she described as the love of her life), her parents Roy and Doris Turner and our beloved brother Duane Dykes. We also suspect that she was joined by several sweet, but demanding cats.