Roger Sykes, the first and only superintendent at Platte River State Park, died Tuesday morning in an Omaha hospital following a brief illness. He was 66.
Sykes, a 43-year employee of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, became superintendent at the then-new Platte River State Park, near Louisville, in January 1982. He was instrumental in developing the park and has been its steward.
"Roger was a wonderful ambassador of Nebraska parks," Game and Parks Director Rex Amack said. "His commitment to excellence and hospitality resonated throughout the agency. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Roger's family."
Sykes was born May 19, 1945, in Beatrice. He was raised in Clatonia, where he graduated from high school in 1963. He received a bachelor's degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln in 1968.
Sykes began his Game and Parks career in June 1968 as assistant superintendent at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park at North Platte.
He became superintendent at Fort Kearny State Historical Park near Kearney in October 1970 before moving to Platte River State Park in 1982.