Open visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Coffman Funeral Home in Harrison, with a private graveside service for his family.
Due to COVID-19, on Saturday, Oct. 24 (2020) Thomas Perry Wilkerson of Western Grove, was called home to be with the Lord.
He was born on Dec. 22, 1940, in Clay (White County) to Bruce Naylor and Rita Elmyra (Hays) Wilkerson.
He was raised in a poor, hardworking, Christian family. They picked cotton and strawberries, and worked at anything to make a nickel.
After graduating high school in 1959 at the age of 18, he borrowed $20 from his mother (a debt his father wouldn’t let him forget) and hitchhiked from Wilburn to Little Rock. Once there, an employment agency put him to work in a dental lab. Through the years, he became a Certified Dental Technician, was a member of the National Association of Dental Laboratories, and served one term as the President of the Arkansas Dental Lab Association. For over 60 years, he used his God-given talent to brighten the smiles of others.
May 8, 1960, was a date of great importance to him. His first date with Dona Reeta Baker. On Dec. 31, 1960, he made the love of his life, his wife. To this blessed union they added two daughters, Lynn Chandler (Don) and Lisa Smith (Shawn); two grandchildren, Shannon Jordan (Tim) and Dustin Hefner; and their most fabulous great-grands, Noah, Kaiden and Alyia Jordan and Ella Hefner, all of whom survive him.
As much as he loved his family, he loved Jesus the most. Having given his life to Christ at the age of 15 in a revival at Mount Olive Church of God, he served the Lord with gladness and joy until he was called home. More than anything, he would want everyone he knew or came in contact with to have that same personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
On June 30, 1974, he, Dona and the girls moved to Western Grove. They became members of Faith Assembly of God Church (Harrison) where he served as Youth Director, Song Leader, Deacon and many other capacities. When Dona could no longer attend church on a regular basis, he began attending Western Grove Bible Church. He loved this church, its people and especially Pastor Dennis Sisco.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, David, Jimmy and Wayne Wilkerson; and a host of family and friends that welcomed him home.
Pallbearers will be Don Chandler, Shawn Smith, Tim Jordan, Dustin Hefner, Patrick Wilkerson and Lyle Smith.
Honorary pallbearers are Dr. and Mrs. Charles Klepper, Willie Moore, Gale Utley, Don Scott, his friends at Western Grove Bible Church and the Community of Western Grove.
An open visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Coffman Funeral Home in Harrison. In compliance with COVID-19 state mandates, all attendees must provide and wear face masks and observe social distancing.
A private graveside service for his family will be conducted by Brother Dennis Sisco.
To honor him, we request that in lieu of flowers, you make a contribution in his name to one of the following: Western Grove Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 113, Western Grove, AR 72685 or Western Grove Bible Church, P.O. Box 123, Western Grove, AR 72685.
Online condolences may be left at www.coffmanfh.com .