Gary Alan Wilkinson passed peacefully into the hands of the Lord on December 28th, 2022 at his home in Noblesville, Indiana after a three-year battle with cancer. He was sixty-one years-old.
Gary was born March 26th, 1961 in Seymour, Indiana to his parents, Robert and Florence Wilkinson. As a young boy, he was industrious. He started his working life running a newspaper route and as he grew older worked on local farms to earn money in the summer. He grew up in West Port, Indiana and attended South Decatur High School where he was voted Class Treasurer, Class President, Captain of the football team, and, most notably, sexiest male student. He went on to earn his bachelors degree in business administration from Ball State University in 1984. While at Ball State, Gary was a beta fraternity member, runner-up for Mr. Ball State, and made of wealth of lifetime friends. Gary contributed financially to the university and his fraternity long after he graduated.
After graduating from Ball State, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. Gary answered his nation’s call to service as a Mandarin Linguist and received the distinct honor to attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California where he would meet his Wife, Teresa [m. 1986-92]. Gary and his wife would graduate together and go on to serve at Lackland Air Force base in Texas, and then to the Kunia Field Station in Hawaii.
After five-years of honorable service, Gary retired from the Air Force. His inspiring work ethic and independent spirit called him to entrepreneurship. As a self-taught automobile interior and windshield repair specialist he founded his modest but successful company, Wilk & Sons. For the remainder of his working life, Gary provided for his family with his self-made business making many friends and connections along the way.
In 1998, Gary founded the Wilkinson Homestead in Noblesville, Indiana where he would flourish a family. Gary was an active member in his community, attending city council meetings, coaching youth sports teams, donating generously to causes benefitting underprivileged children and animals without homes, teaching Sunday school at his church, and lending helping hands to his neighbors. Gary tirelessly cultivated his personal values of hard work, mental and physical grit, and generosity. As a father and role model to more than just his two boys, Gary’s front door remained open with a warm cup of coffee and fresh plate of fruit waiting for anyone who needed a helping hand, an ear to listen, or a few words of wisdom.
Gary will be missed on this earth. But he now lives in the kingdom of Heaven. We will miss him for a short time in this life, but we will all be reunited with him in times to come.
May God Bless you all.
Gary is survived by his two sons, Nick and Brandon Wilkinson, his two grandchildren Elizabeth and Lucas Wilkinson, his three godchildren Taylor, Matthew, and Sophia Driver, his two sisters Jeanne and Leigh Ann, and his beloved pets Bear and Sox, as well as many other friends and family members who loved him.
While it is a comforting thought to believe that Gary loved us because we are special, the truth is quite the opposite— We are special because Gary loved us.