Obituary George E. Wilkerson

DOD: March 20, 2009

Loved in life, revered in passing.

George Eugene Wilkerson age 88, died March 20, 2009 at his home in Playa del Rey, Ca. He passed away within minutes of completing and uploading his Tax Form, that he had been working on. I believe his goal was to finish this form because he knew it was his last. A prescient etiology with respect to the present Obama Administration.

George Wilkerson was born in St Louis Missouri, March 5, 1921.

George E. Wilkerson Jr., Honor, Courage and Commitment: 1st Lt., U.S.M.C.R., enlisted March 2, 1942. Boot Platoon #561, Parris Island July 1943, 38th OCS commissioned November 1943, 41st Reserve Officers Class, and 40th Field Artillery School. George met his precious wife Frances, a US Navy Flight Nurse, on a beach in Guam. They were married for 62 years.

George WilkersonUS Marine!King of the HilPrecious wife of 62 yearsMedals Click to enlarge pictures

Recalled to Korea August 1950. Selected for Captain December, 11, 1950. Honorable Discharge April, 1951.

Combat: WWII – Guam and Iwo Jima Campaigns. D/2/12/3rd Mar. Division Forward Observer with 1st Battalion, 21 Marines. Purple Heart for wound on Iwo, Korea –Inchon-Seoul, Yudamni-Chosin. G/3/11/1st Marine Division. Forward Observer with Item Co., 7th Marines. Awarded Bronze Star ("With complete disregard for own personal safety, Lt. Wilkerson fearlessly remained in an exposed position directing artillery fire until the enemy command was destroyed..") with Combat “V” for action near Seoul Oct. 10, 1950.
George ("Whispering Wilk" ) was acknowledged in the book,
Three-War Marine (page 160 &161 ) by Col. Francis Fox Parry, as the Forward Observer at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1943 and his, his MBA from Harvard in 1949.

Retired 1986 from Hughes Aircraft Co. as Controller, Space and Communications Group and Vice President and Treasurer of the subsidiary Hughes Communications International.

He is survived by: Frances, his cherished wife of 62 years; four children, five grandsons and three granddaughters; and his brother Wayne in Norco.

George was an active participant and a founding member and starter of St. Anastasia parish, for over 55 years.

He received the Bene Merente award from Pope John Paul in 1987, and from Pope Benedict in 2005.

A memorial mass will be celebrated Thursday, March 26, 10:00 a.m. at St. Anastasia Catholic Church, 7300 W. Manchester Blvd, Westchester, Los Angeles California 90045.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to St. Anastasia Catholic Church and school or your favorite charity.

Eulogy of Eldest Son Chris Wilkerson

I have been blessed in life in that until now, I have never experienced the death of a family member. That may make me na´ve, but it helps explain why I am unable to stand up here and speak from the heart without causing a minor flood. I thank my cousin Don Wilkerson, for taking my place. I want to thank you all for coming today.

The death of my father is the most painful and yet illuminating experience of my life. In my book, he did not pass, he ascended.

My father taught by example. My father never told me, "How to live." He showed me how to live. My father was my friend, hero, mentor and the most gentle and powerful Marine that ever lived. He was a saintly man, who did not drink, swear, smoke, lose his temper or speak disparagingly of another. He simply believed in doing your best and never giving up. He was a charitable man with his time and money. He was always there for me, my children and my wife. He and my mother, made a point to see our family at least once a month and individually take each grandchild out to dinner on their respective birthdays.  He may have believed in corporal punishment, but I have no recollection of his ever using it on me. Actually, now that I think about it, this abstinence may have been his ONLY human flaw, that would explain my multiple flaws ;-)

I recall a specific incident that exemplifies my father’s gentle, human, but firm businesslike approach to life and discipline. There was a period of my life as a teenager, that I gave my mother Frances, constant grief, often bringing her to tears. My father eventually pulled me aside privately and said, “Son, I want to ask a favor from you. Let me be clear about something. Your mother is my Best Friend, knock it off now, for my sake if not hers.”  At the moment in time, I felt all my projected pent up teenage hostility, vanish forever. My Father taught me that love is among other things, when another person’s happiness is foremost and essential to your own. My wife and children, never saw him walking with my mother, without George, holding his wife’s hand. Never, ever. This, simply speaks volumes.

I am not my father, nor can I ever expect to emulate this man, but there is much hope for my four children, his beloved Grandchildren. Since my father ascended, it has never been so apparent, that Family is not just important, it is EVERYTHING.

As I told my kids, if you really want to remember and honor your Grandpa Geo, conduct the rest of your life, as Grandpa lived his life.  Spend time now, with the love of his life, his 90 year Grandma Fran. You were truly blessed to have a Grandfather that you could spend time with and a much better example, than I could ever be.   Thank you Dad for compensating for my shortcomings. 

To my children, do your best to live the rest of your life, like my father conducted his life, a near perfect human being. Honor Grandpa forever in this way. Just live your life, like you think, he would have lived his life. Ask yourself what would my Grandfather do? Act accordingly.

Don't stand there, do it, do what is right, be your best, give 100% plus, be a Marine, be George Wilkerson. Most of all, be yourself. Right or wrong, you have the right genes. Do your best and you simply can not fail.

It’s time for all of us to put feelings into footsteps, example into execution and wisdom into what we can become. It's never too late. I know I need to emulate my father, I can only pray that my offspring can do the same.

In conclusion, I can only hope and pray, that I can pass on such clarity and wisdom, as much fulfillment of the soul and nourishment for the heart as my Father has passed on to me and all folks blessed enough to have known him.

Thank you again for being here, for being who you are, my father thanks you and I thank my father forever.

Character Counts: This 53 second broadcast, "Expressing the Beliefs You Want to Pass On", by Michael Josephson on April 10, 2009 is biographically, a descriptive clone of my father George E Wilkerson. Read it here: Expressing My Beliefs

Miss Me but let me go

July 18,2009: I'm pleased to say that my Father's grandchildren are no longer children. Dad, you precipitated a needed maturity. In one act of ascension, you made them all better people. You've done much of my job. I thank you again.

Addendum: 2010: My Father was obsessed with family pictures that took seemingly hours to take, although only a few more minutes of our lives.  Now I realize why my father liked a simple picture on a camera. All my father wanted was a family smile and he wanted it on camera. He wanted to view it after we were gone. He knew that it was difficult to get us all together. He made the best of who was there and captured it. We were all unforgiving and all he wanted was a few seconds, for a picture that would last forever, a picture that he and his wife could reflect on when we were absent, a picture that his family could pass on for generations. Wise indeed and all we thought was, "Let's Go, we have things to do." Now, as a parent, I can relate.  I relish the short lived moments, that bring temporary happiness, visual memories in a world of diminishing senses, that have the potential to last forever.

I was selfish. I was wrong. I was human. I can be wrong or right. I can always be supportive, even when I disagree. Jay taught me that. I hope my children read this. I hope his children do the same.