James J. Sykora

p_hof_sykora01Long time auctioneer, James Sykora, age 79, passed away Saturday, December 22, 2001. Jim will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends. He was born the son of Joseph and Marie Sykora on September 21, 1923. He had been married to Patricia Gorman on July 18, 1953; they later divorced and became friends. He is survived by his children, Scott and Julie Sykora and Trese and Robbin Harsh, all of Clare; A brother, Fred, of St. Johns; his grandchildren, Macy, Jayda, Ryan, Kayla, Rebecca, Abegail, Jacob and Aaron; and great grandchildren Kyle, Destiny and Aubrey. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Dean and Helen Henny, and a brother, Joe Sykora.

Jim had served with the U.S. Air Force during WWII, was a member of the American Legion, the Clare Moose Lodge, the Clare Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Clare Kiwanis Club.

Jim is probably best known as an auctioneer. He had been recently inducted into the Michigan State Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame on Friday, January 26, 2001. Jim has been an association member since founded in the early 50?s and served on the Board of Directors from 1967 to 1971. Jim has had so many experiences by being an auctioneer that is would take a book to explain all of them. Let’s try to give you some of his lifetime achievements.

Jim attended Reppert School of Auctioneering in 1948 and started a career as an auctioneer for the Prince and Company Livestock Auction in St. Johns, MI and sold for them for many years. Jim married in 1953 and moved to Claire, MI in 1954. He has sold at the Marion Livestock Yards for 16 years, sold at Gaylord Livestock Yards for 17 years, sold at Standish Livestock for 17 years, at Clare Livestock Yards for 10 years and continues to fill in there. He also sold at Breckenridge, MI for 15 years as well as put in 32 years at the Michigan Livestock Yards at St. Louis, MI. He has since retired from St. Louis. Jim started with is first farm sale in 1954 and gradually his business expanded. By 1960 he was selling 50 private auctions a year, plus his weekly livestock sale barns. Jim?s profession expanded greatly by 1970 and he was selling 100+ private auctions a year along with the Livestock sale barns. His works included farm machinery, dairy & beef auctions, household and antiques, and small industrial type sales, such as service stations, restaurants, etc.

In 1981, Jim invited his son, Scott Sykora, to enter the auction profession. Scott worked with him as an apprentice auctioneer, and after selling for 5 years, they became partners and worked as a professional auction team. In 1992, Jim sold the family auction company to Scott and Jim still continued to sell at the Auction at his own pace as founder of Sykora Auction Service, Inc. Some of Jim’s other experiences took him all over the state conducting 4-H auctions every year for the last 36 years. He entered the World Championship Livestock Auctioneer Contest in 1967 on Mackinaw Island and took 2nd Place. Jim had a very good working relationship with the public and has been respected for his honesty and integrity. We truly believe that Jim has contributed so much to the State of Michigan for his many years as a dedicated professional auctioneer and would like the public to know about the Clare Company Legend, James J. Sykora, Auctioneer.