A wake service will be held from 6:00-7:00 P.M., Friday, June 23, 2017 at the Oglethorpe Funeral Chapel Inc., 607 Kaigler Street, Oglethorpe, Georgia.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 P.M., Saturday, June 24, 2017 at Friendship Baptist Church, 415 Cotton Avenue, Americus, Georgia. Burial will follow at Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus, Georgia.
Shades of Joy
Leon Wilkerson came into this world on August 5, 1953. From the beginning Leon was a special baby that grew into a man of many words with a hearty laugh and a love for life. Born and raised in Americus, Georgia, he accepted God as his personal savior at a very young age. You see, not attending church and Sunday School wasn’t an option in the Wilkerson household. Although he always understood who was the head of his life, he often questioned God’s plan and purpose for his existence. His life was very colorful and can be seen as a canvas that reflected many emotions. It puzzled many that every viewer received a different picture of him when they engaged his encounter. Leon graduated from Stanley High School in 1971 and upon graduation, he immediately enlisted in the United States Army Airborne. After his post military career, he returned home and attended South Georgia Tech where he received a certification in plumbing. His employment career would expand to Americus Boating Company, Federal Express and later a Security Guard for the Americus and Sumter County Hospital. Leon continued to challenge himself and among his many accomplishments in which he was most prideful was his completion of the Professional Truck Driving School in 2005 earning him his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Although he never drove a commercial truck, he displayed his certification as his personal “Badge of Honor”.
Leon was a man of many words with a hearty laugh and a zest and love for life. He was intelligent, very vocal and loved by many in his community. Having been born in the South, he exuded the true meaning of the phrase“he never met a stranger”. He mastered the art of debating and would often times meet with strangers and friends alike spending hours discussing his views on issues that he felt were important. He didn’t like losing and would walk away a very “sore” loser if he lost! He loved sports and was loyal to all of Georgia’s sports teams. Golf, tennis and chess were among his most favorite pastime sporting events because he admired the dedication and the fortitude it took to master these arts. He also enjoyed cooking, chillin’, watching television (especially the People’s Court with Judge Judy) and keeping up with current events. He loved connecting with old friends and relatives. During the last year of his life, through social media, he adopted a child from Haiti and assisted with the young child’s education. He felt honored to finally be in a financial position to make a difference in the life of another person – especially a child.
Shades of Love
Leon loved his family but everyone knew that his biggest pride and joy was his grandchildren. That love was that love! They grew and learned from one another. Those life lessons will be a part of their lives forever. The Lord blessed Leon to have the sum total of two parentages which included his adopted parents, Mamie and Joe Wilkerson of Americus, GA (both preceded him in death) and his biological parents Theartis Wilkerson (Newark NJ) and Leonard Gordon. Each parentage produced a host of loving siblings, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws with many relatives taking on dual roles.
Strings That Bind
AC and Elizabeth Wilkerson (grandparents) Americus, Georgia; Mamie Lue Wilkerson-Davis, Joe Wilkerson Jr., both of Americus, Georgia, Ulysses Wilkerson, Michael Wilkerson both of Newark, New Jersey (siblings) all preceded him death. Marcus I. Wilkerson (son) preceded him in death; daughter Latoya Sherelle Cobb and daughter-in law Wylinda Smith-Wilkerson.
Marcus I. Wilkerson Jr., Je-kwan Jamal Cobb, Khiya Antre’ll White, Khaylen Jhadai Jackson, Khiylen Shadai Jackson
Siblings (Newark, New Jersey)
Temeeka Wilkerson (Brian), Johnny Wilkerson, Clarence Wilkerson, Terrance Wilkerson and wife Susan Stephanie
Nieces, Nephews and Uncles
Katrana Luellen (Howard) of Atlanta Sabrina Bert of Warner Robins, Georgia, Diane Davis of Americus, Georgia, Henry Lee Wilkerson (Judith) of Warner Robins, Georgia, Eddie Lee Wilkerson of Newark, New Jersey, and Todd Symone, Kwamir, Kwamirah, Yahnayia, Nilsa, Ayesha and Khera Wilkerson. In addition, many nieces, nephews, and a host of cousins.