Virginia D. Sykes, 72, cook at Sunpapers, model...

May 05, 2000

Virginia D. Sykes, 72, cook at Sunpapers, model

Virginia D. Sykes, a retired cook and model, died Monday from complications of a stroke at her Northwest Baltimore home. She was 72.

Mrs. Sykes, who had been a cook in the Sunpapers' cafeteria for more than 40 years, began her career in the newspaper's now-demolished building at Baltimore and Charles streets.

In the late 1980s, Mrs. Sykes changed jobs and became the newspaper's front-desk security person. She retired in 1991.

Earlier, Mrs. Sykes had been a short-order cook at the now-defunct Morgan-Millard Drug Store in Roland Park.

In her second career, Mrs. Sykes modeled for Carson Modeling Agency in Baltimore during the 1950s and 1960s.

"She was the first black to model for Baltimore furriers," said her daughter Patricia B. Cherry of Northwest Baltimore. "She modeled clothes and furs in Pennsylvania Avenue nightclubs and for the United Service Organization in Baltimore."

Virginia Ellis was born and raised on Bennett Place in West Baltimore, and graduated from Douglass High School.

Her 1942 marriage to Leonard McKinley Green ended in divorce. She was married in the early 1960s to Rubin Sykes, who survives her.

She was a member of St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

Services will be held at 12: 30 p.m. tomorrow at James A. Morton & Sons Funeral Home, 1701 Laurens St. in Baltimore.

Mrs. Sykes is survived by another daughter, Sheree Vaughn of Virginia Beach, Va.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Edita A. L. Leroy, 81, church, hospital volunteer

Edita Ana Lucretia Leroy, a church and hospital volunteer, died Sunday of pneumonia at Pickersgill Retirement Community. She was 81 and had lived in the Hampton section of Towson.

She worked with patients at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and was a member and volunteer at Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson. She had attended Church of the Redeemer and Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton.

During the 1940s, she worked in drafting at Hewlett-Packard Co., when it first organized in Palo Alto, Calif.

Edita Ana Lucretia Koch, known as Dietzie, was born in Berkeley, Calif., and raised in Los Altos, Calif. She attended public and private schools.

She sculpted wood and clay and made models of birds and small animals, which she gave to family and friends. She also kept a large garden and was a bird-watcher.

In 1945, she married Paul George Leroy II, who died in 1973.

A memorial service will be held at 3: 30 p.m. today at Pickersgill, 615 Chestnut Ave., Towson.

She is survived by two sons, Alan G. Leroy of Madonna and Paul G. Leroy III of Bel Air; a daughter, Kathleen M. Leroy of Germantown; two brothers, Alfred Koch of Oakland, Calif., and Dr. George Koch of Sacramento, Calif.; a sister, Lily Terry of Corona, Calif.; three granddaughters; and a great-grandson.

Kathryn Lee Smith, 81, gardener, genealogist

Kathryn Lee Smith, a homemaker, genealogist and award-winning gardener, died Tuesday from complications of Alzheimer's disease at St. Agnes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ellicott City. She was 81.

In 1947, Mrs. Smith and her husband, Bert Page Smith, whom she married in 1939, settled in Dickeyville, a historic West Baltimore mill village, where they restored a pre-Civil War house.

She was a member of Dickeyville Garden Club for many years and a volunteer at Kernan Hospital, where she had been a member of the Women's Board.

Born Kathryn Adele Lee, a descendant of Hugh Lee, a 17th-century Maryland and Virginia landowner and Arkansas pioneer, she was raised in Pine Bluff, Ark., and graduated from high school there.

Family members said she painstakingly researched her branch of the Lees of Virginia and published a monograph, "Lee of Prince George County, Virginia" in 1985.

In 1977, the Smiths moved to Zephyrhills, Fla., where they lived for 20 years before returning to Ellicott City.

Mrs. Smith had been a member of St. Mary Episcopal Church of Woodlawn and later was a communicant of Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity in Forest Park.

No services are planned.

Mrs. Smith also is survived by a son, Bert Pendleton Smith of Hampden; a daughter, Kathryn Page Morgan of Ellicott City; a brother, Carroll C. Lee of Jacksonville, Ark.; a granddaughter; and a great-grandson.

Obituaries

Because of limited space and the large number of requests for obituaries, The Sun regrets that it cannot publish all the obituaries it receives. Because The Sun regards obituaries as news, we give a preference to those submitted within 48 hours of a person's death. It is also our intention to run obituaries no later than seven days after death.

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