Thomas Edward Sikes, Jr., M.D., beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend was born in Columbus, Georgia on June 3, 1944 to Lillie Belle Pirkle Sikes and Thomas Edward Sikes. Tommy was soon joined by younger brother James William "Jimmy". Tommy excelled in school, developing a lifelong love of learning and reading, which culminated in his receipt of Columbus High School's STAR Student scholarship in 1962. Tom was also proud to have founded the Delta Sigma Tau fraternity at Columbus High School.
The family will have a memorial service on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Concord officiated by Rev. Peter Bynum. The family will receive friends after the service at the church.
However, Tommy's greatest achievement in high school was meeting the love of his life, Carol Elliott. While Carol pursued her education at the University of Georgia, Tommy headed to Emory University in Atlanta where he studied history, prepared for medical school, and joined Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Tom graduated in May 1966 and married Carol that August. In 1968, while at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Fraternity, Tom and Carol welcomed daughter
Jennifer. In 1971, during Tom's internship at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, son Thomas E. Sikes III was born. Tom entered the United States Navy shortly thereafter, having participated in ROTC throughout all 4 years of high school and serving as lieutenant commander while a high school senior. After serving as a physician for two years in Pensacola, Florida, Tom left the Navy as a lieutenant and returned to Charlotte to complete his residency in orthopedic surgery.
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Tom joined an established orthopedic practice in Concord in 1977, but opened his own practice four years later with friend and former residency colleague Robert Beaver. Over the next decade, the partnership grew into a four physician practice while Tom managed, with Carol's help, to act as an active swim team parent, soccer coach, and regular participant in golf tournaments at Cabarrus Country Club, where he would later serve as President (and score two holes in one). Tom and Carol focused on family fun, taking Tommy and Jennifer on many wonderful trips, including learning to snow ski, scuba dive, and enjoy Broadway plays. By 2000, Tom had led the merger of his practice to form Northeast Orthopedics. Tom was grateful to work with so many people over the years whom he respected as colleagues, but also treasured as friends.
As the children departed for college, Tom had more time to devote to his interest in wine, which soon became a true passion. This avocation eventually led to trips to California, Australia, Italy, and France, and more importantly, connected Tom and Carol to amazing lifelong friends in Concord, Charlotte, and across the country and world. In 1999, Tom was proudly inducted as a Conferie des Chevalier du Tastevin, a Burgundy wine society. Tom was also active for almost two decades in the Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend, events where he could indulge in fun while benefitting local charities.
Tom loved sports throughout his life and was proud to be an original ticket-holder for both the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets. Tom was also passionate about soccer and was thrilled to see both 1994 World Cup games in Washington D.C. and the U.S. men's and women's teams at the 1996 Olympics in Georgia. Tom was even a good sport enough to escort Tommy and his teenage friends on numerous ski trips and to soccer tournaments.
Tom's greatest love was family. He and Carol loved to spend time at "Serendipity," their vacation home near Blowing Rock, with Jennifer, Tommy, and their grandchildren. Tom's seven grandchildren knew him as their "Pop" and especially loved spending time with him during the annual family beach weeks, Fourth of July at Serendipity, or simply on neighborhood walks. Like so many others, their favorite memories of Pop will be of his great sense of humor- Pop was always willing to do or say something silly.
Tom was predeceased by his parents and beloved younger brother, Jimmy Sikes. Tom will be greatly missed by his surviving family: wife Carol; daughter Jennifer Sikes and son-in-law Ben Troxler; grandchildren Grace and William Thomas "Will" Sideris, and Ellen and Annabel Troxler; son Tommy and daughter-in-law Kristin Sikes; and grandchildren Thomas E. Sikes, IV, Elliott Sikes, and Katherine Belle ("Katie Belle") Sikes.
Lymphoma took Tom from us on February 16, 2015, far too soon, but he lived a full life of generosity, love, and adventure. His family and friends will treasure the wonderful memories he has left behind and try to live every day by Tom's favorite saying, "There are never enough good times, not to have more good times."
Memorials may be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, 5003 Hospice Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28081 or to the charity of one's choice.
Online condolences may be left at www.wilkinsonfuneral home.com
Wilkinson Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for the Sikes family.