John Dale Sikes, 90, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 18, 2020, at The Bluffs in Columbia. John was born March 31, 1930, in Mansfield to Dewey and Deatrice (McIntosh) Sikes.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Betty J. Beckley of Visalia, California; and his brother, Loyal D. Sikes of Mansfield.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from MU in 1952, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for four years. Dr. Sikes obtained a master’s degree in dairy husbandry in 1957 and a doctorate in dairy husbandry in 1961 from MU. Dr. Sikes joined the faculty at MU as an instructor in 1959 and was a tenured professor.

Dr. Sikes helped countless students to realize their career potential by sharing his considerable knowledge as an instructor for courses such as Dairy Cattle Judging, Advanced Dairy Cattle Judging, Bovine Breeding, and Semen and Ova Processing. Beyond teaching, Dr. Sikes contributed greatly to the dairy industry in Missouri and nationally through his work in dairy cattle breeding, artificial insemination, embryo transfer and general reproductive physiology.

Dr. Sikes retired from MU in 1995 but continued his work in embryo transfer in the private sector, mainly in dairy cattle. Through the years, Dr. Sikes continued to have communication with former students throughout the state and around the world and to work on his farms.

Dr. Sikes’ support of higher education will continue in the form of the John D. Sikes Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund for the benefit of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources on the Columbia campus to provide one or more full tuition scholarships to CAFNR students, with preference for students majoring in animal science.

A private interment will be in Mansfield at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to MU. For gifts to the John D. Sikes Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund at Mizzou, please make checks payable to MU and mail to Mizzou Gift Processing, 407 Reynolds Alumni Center, Columbia, MO 65211, or give online at and list the fund name in gift instructions field. Note “in memory of John D. Sikes” on all gifts.

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