Virginia R. Dowdell Sykes, matriarch of an extended family who also worked outside the home, most recently at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, died April 12 at the age of 82.

She was born in Opelika, Ala., to Alzater and Isaiah Dowdell. She moved to Philadelphia after high school and married Solomon Sykes in 1946. She worked at the old Jamaica Inn and the Lerner Shop in Philadelphia before moving to Atlantic City, where she worked for the Taj for several years before retiring.

Virginia enjoyed traveling and took a number of cruises around the world. Her hobbies included swimming, reading, shopping and watching TV game shows.

A widow, she is survived by three sons, Reginald, Russell and Randall; two daughters, Gail and Yvette Sykes; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by another son, Roger.

Services: Were Saturday. Burial was in Rolling Green Memorial Park, West Chester. *

- John F. Morrison