Tom was originally from Detroit, Michigan, but at a young age his parents sold their house in Michigan and the family moved down to Seminole, Florida. They kept a cottage at Houghton Lake, Michigan where Tom and his parents would go up to fish and enjoy their pontoon boat for a few months each year. Tom and his Mom were very close, and he always really enjoyed her cooking.
After Tom’s Dad died, the family sold the cottage. From there Tom lived in Sarasota, FL where he attended and graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design. It was at this time he started his colorful and fun career. He got involved in the hospitality industry as a desk clerk at Holiday Inn and other local hotels. Tom eventually moved to Atlanta to further advance his career. A few years after he did his mom and dad followed in tow.
After arriving in Atlanta, Tom was introduced to the lighting industry at various lighting specialty stores, which included Home Depot. He then worked in the aviation industry for Eastern Airlines as a gate agent and which was probably his favorite role. He concluded his career working for the Custard Insurance agency based out of Atlanta. Tom was known to his friends as “Vienna Tom” do to his unrelenting love of Vienna, Austria. He loved the Christmas markets and being there during the holidays.
Tom probably visited Vienna 10 different times through out his life. Although Tom’s health started to decline in 2014, he still dreamed of visiting Vienna one last time. There is a good chance the next we meet again, we will run into Tom in Vienna! In his most recent years, Tom was very fond of his those closest to him which consisted of his close friend and care support team which included Stan Lutz, Kendall Crye, Rebecca Marder, and Chris Baker.
Tom was preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, and is survived by his brother Ken Sykes of Richmond, VA.