On the afternoon of February 11, Barbara Sykes succumbed to liver failure after a battle with cancer. With her untimely passing, her family and the community of Burbank and beyond lost a tireless supporter and organizer. Born in 1960 to Dick and JoAnn Sykes, Barbara was a lifelong resident of the San Fernando Valley, growing up in Toluca Lake and living her entire adult life in Burbank. She was a founding board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Burbank and the Greater East Valley and regularly volunteered for the Burbank Coordinating Council where for many years she co-chaired the Holiday Basket Project. She also served as the chief fundraiser for the Condor Squadron of Van Nuys, a non-profit organization which preserves and flies WWII vintage aircraft to honor American veterans and preserve a piece of aviation history.
Her selfless organizing talents extended to her family, friends and neighbors. She applied those talents to the political campaigns of her husband, former Burbank mayor and long-time council member Dave Golonski. She organized and hosted regular family and neighborhood gatherings and community events. She never forgot a birthday and always had a gift to celebrate that special day. She was a dedicated daughter, a devoted mother and a doting grandmother. She greatly enjoyed regular trips with her grandchildren to the L.A. Zoo and was religious about daily trips, often with her son John, to Porto’s Bakery for an afternoon coffee.
She was an accomplished gardener and handywoman, skilled at painting and carpentry, and enjoyed making crafts and the challenge of refurbishing older homes and apartments. Her beautiful home on Avon Street in Burbank, at which she regularly hosted charitable events, is a testament to these skills.
Much of Barbara’s time and energy was devoted to her son John who she and her husband adopted from Russia in 1993. Barbara loved her trips to Carpenteria to visit her sister and have lunch at Zooker’s Restaurant, and visit beautiful Rincon Beach. The family, friends and neighbors who were so blessed by her energetic attentions deeply miss her.
Barbara is survived by her mother, JoAnn Sykes, husband, David Golonski, three children, Randi Tamillo, Russell Tamillo, and John Golonski, son-in-law Nathan Lowery, two grandchildren, Grant and JoAnn Lowery, and her seven brothers and sisters, Edmond, Jeanne, Carol, Gene, Richard, John and Mary. Memorial services for Barbara Sykes will be held at 11 am Sunday, February 28th at The Portal of the Folded Wings, Valhalla Memorial Park at 10631 Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood with a reception to follow at The Castaway in Burbank. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Burbank Boys and Girls Club Building Fund, 2244 N. Buena Vista St. Burbank, CA 91504 (www.bgcburbank.org) or The Condor Squadron 7800 Hayvenhurst Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91406 (www.condorsquadron.org).