Grandma with over 20 grandchildren, 65 great-grands celebrates 103 years of life

A huge happy birthday is in order for a Jacksonville native celebrating her 103rd birthday Sunday.

Katherine Sykes was born on August 20, 1920. She’s a mother of five, grandmother of 25, great-grandmother of 70 and great-great-grandmother of 75.

Sykes, who was born and raised in Jacksonville, is a retired kindergarten teacher and church pianist. She never took any lessons. Instead, the self-taught retired pianist said she learned to play by hearing music.

Although her family said Sykes was moving a little slow and didn’t want to come to the party, she was showered with love and appreciation on her birthday as her family and friends came together to celebrate this milestone.

When she turned 100 years old in 2020, Mayor Lenny Curry gave her a proclamation.

Sykes described her birthday with two words: “It’s wonderful.” She also credits her longevity of life to drinking plenty of water.

Kathy Staten, Sykes’ second granddaughter, said her grandmother is a praying woman, who loves the Lord.

“If you are going to pray, don’t worry and if you are going to worry, don’t pray” is one of her favorite sayings, her family shared.

Let’s wish Sykes a happy birthday and many more.

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