In Memory

John Wilkerson - Class Of 1967

John Wilkerson

John Wilkerson
1948 - 2009

John Wilkerson was born on June 11, 1948, in Greenville, TX, the only son of John and Edna Wilkerson. He told many stories of summers spent on his grandfather's farm and was especially fond of time spent with his family and cousins in Bonham, Texas and Ft. Towson, Oklahoma.

After attending school in both France and Las Vegas, John attended Johnson High School for American dependants in Japan. At Johnson, John participated in multiple sports teams and made lifelong friends. John cherished his time at Johnson and he was an active alum, always ready to help with the planning of reunions and finding old friends and classmates.

After graduating from Johnson in 1967, John enlisted in the United States Army and was sent back to the United States. He was wounded while serving the Army during riots that broke out in Atlanta after Martin Luther King's assassination. He completed Ranger Training in Atlanta and was then sent to serve in Vietnam, where he stayed for two years. After the Vietnam War, he was honorably discharged and returned to the states to attend college at Wichita State in Kansas and then at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. At NSU, John met many people, including his wife-to-be, Blanche Andries.

In 1976, John re-enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Fort Polk, LA. John and Blanche were married on March 29, 1980, at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Bossier City, LA. They traveled all over the United States together and lived in Denver, CO, Anniston, AL, Hinesville, GA, Dothan, AL and Philadelphia, NY. John was also stationed in Stuttgart and Kaiserslautern, Germany, and in Korea.

John and Blanche welcomed a daughter, Dana Michelle, on July 2, 1982, while stationed at Fort Stewart, GA. Dana was with her parents during their stay in Germany. After returning from Europe and settling in Dothan, another daughter, Veronica Leigh was born on June 19, 1988, at Fort Rucker, AL. John retired from the military in 1994 and the family decided to settle down in Humble,TX. John could fix anything and he continued to work as a mechanic and a biomedical equipment troubleshooter during his time in Texas.

He retired (again) in 2001 in order to spend time doing the things he loved to do. On his own time, John still spent countless hours working on machines and automobiles. He made a lifetime hobby of keeping his vehicles and those of his friends in good running condition. His lifetime fleet included the "T-R-avelin' Van," which toured the US and Europe and was eventually donated to a local women's shelter, and a pickup that he received from his father-in-law. The truck was on its last leg when he received it. Under John's care, however, the old Ford truck lasted another eight years.

John loved to drive and would take off on a whim to see friends or family, or to follow a good lightning storm. In the early part of their marriage, he and Blanche would often drive to another state just to have coffee or a meal. John loved his girls and always welcomed their friends. His other favorite girl, besides Blanche and his daughters, was the family dog, Dax. He was proud to play an active role as a "Do-Dad" for Veronica's Girl Scout troup and John always joked that he and Dax were "honorary Girl Scouts". His most recent love was his grandson Rohan Konnor Keddington, born on June 18, 2009. He loved riding his bicycle and enjoyed riding for leisure or in charity marathons. He loved to doodle and he loved to drink coffee -- he was always thinking about coffee. In fact, his favorite doodle was of a steaming cup of coffee. He enjoyed going down to the lakehouse to fish and was often in charge of fireworks at family gatherings there. Mostly though, John loved pulling people's legs and was always ready to laugh.

We will all miss him.