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Obituary for Florence Maxine Sikes
Florence M. Sikes, 85, of Riverview FL., went to be with her husband, Mason, her family, and God Saturday Sept. 12, 2020. Florence was born in Okeechobee, FL, May 18, 1935 to Hiram and Vivian Bass-Padgett, grew up in the South Florida's Lake Okeechobee area, graduated from Pahokee High School where she was a Florida State Women's Softball Champion, and later made her home in Gibsonton / Riverview, FL, with her parents in the mid 1950s. Florence met and married Mason Sikes in 1962 and began to raise a family, they purchased seven acres in Southeast Hillsborough County and started one of the first Tropical Fish Farms in Riverview, Hillsborough County. Florence was very proud of her family history to the point of researching, with her sister Jackie Staats, their family lineage back to 1845 before Florida became a State, and documenting countless hours of information, stories, and details. Florence was a true saleslady at heart, some would say she could sell "anything to anyone" and that proved to be true when she became a Real Estate Broker in 1982 and later going on to being partnered in one of the most prominent and producing real estate companies in Hillsborough County, Country Real Estate. She sold real estate for more than thirty-five years; she was continually awarded as the Top Producer for the company and was influential in South Hillsborough County's growth and development. Florence was also a champion for those who could not speak for themselves. She founded the Hackney Riverview Cemetery Association and through her hard work and dedication reconditioned what was once a "pauper's cemetery" into a place of respect and beauty. Her talent for organization, cleaning, and mapping of the cemetery was so precise that the local funeral homes and residents of the community would be directed to Florence for information about the area and how to locate old and lost graves. Florence was a dedicated wife, mother, and friend to the point of a relative stating that after she passed, "it says something about someone's character when it takes five people to make phone calls to all the people she knew to inform family and friends of her passing." She had love and respect for everyone that she met but was said to be a "firecracker" if you crossed her or those she loved. Florence lost Mason in 2013 after fifty-one years of marriage and said many times that "life ended when he passed." However, on Saturday Florence was reunited with Mason and now they are together for eternity. Florence is preceded in death by the true love of her life, Mason Sikes; her parents, Hiram and Vivian Bass-Padgett; her sisters, Esther Padgett-Tubs and Debra Tubbs-Padgett-Brown; her brothers, James "Buddy" Padgett and Ronald Padgett; her son, James Wesley Sikes; two grandsons, James Wesley Sikes Jr. and Yancy Bo Sikes, and her daughter-in-law, Sandra Canaday-Sikes. Florence is survived by two sons, Mason Becker-Sikes and his husband Ryan Becker-Sikes of St. Petersburg, Troy A. Sikes and his partner Ashton Hendrickson of Riverview; and one sister, Jacklyn Padgett-Staats and her husband Carl Staats of Floral City, FL. Florence is also survived by many other relatives and close friends that could not be mentioned, they were all loved by Florence, and will not be forgotten by during this difficult time. The family would like to extend a very special and heartfelt show of gratitude to Peggy Speece of Riverview, FL. Peggy helped take care of Florence in her last days and has been a longtime family friend. Peggy was loved dearly by Florence and the family appreciates her for her actions and dedication. Services for Florence will be Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 12 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Riverview, FL, with the family receiving friends one hour prior to services. Interment will follow at Hackney Riverview Cemetery in Riverview, FL. Pallbearers will be the descendants of the Bass family that have been such a huge part of Florence's life and they are Dennis "Butch" Bass, Rodney Bass, Anthony Bass, Tol Bass, Joseph (Ron) Padgett, and Royce Arnold. The family is planning to gather after the services for lunch at Fred's Market in Riverview starting at 2:30 pm. Due to COVID restrictions, attendance will be limited for the service at the funeral home.