Erna Smith Sykes, 88, a woman of strength and courage

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Erna Smith Sykes, Heath, Swain, 88, of Oak Island passed away on December 18, 2015, in the Dosher Nursing Center.

Erna was born November 24, 1927, in Orange County, North Carolina, daughter of the late Wiley Hubert Smith and Fannie Elizabeth Coleman. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband Cheatham Sykes, second husband Charles Heath, and third husband Alvin Swain Sr.; a son, Jamie Sykes; and a brother, Hubert Smith.

Survivors include her son Clarence Sykes and wife Patricia; her daughter Pat Hughes and husband Don; special step-sons Alvin Swain Jr. and wife Maria and Tony Swain and wife Cindy; special stepdaughters Gloria Ruiz and Sandra Swain; a brother, Bobby Smith; and a sister, Polly Matthews. She was “Maw Maw” to grandsons Jim Sykes, Eric Sykes, Jerry Helms Jr. and Kevin Hughes, whom she spent time with and watch grow up and loved so much; numerous other grandchildren and great-grandchildren that hold a special place in her heart, all of whom she dearly loved.

Erna was a member of Southport Baptist Church and loved the Lord and lived her life for the Lord. Erna loved her children and went to every depth to raise and care for them. Erna was a woman of strength and courage.

A special thank you to the entire staff at Dosher Nursing Center for their kind and compassion care given to our mom! Thank you to Lower Cape Fear Hospice for your compassion in her final days.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 955 Mercy Lane, Bolivia, NC 28422.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Gene Tomlinson officiating. Burial will follow in the Northwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1 to 2 p.m., one hour prior to the service.

Online condolences may be made at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service by clicking here.