W.L. Wilkes

Mr. W. L. Wilkes passed from our world to the hands of the Lord on November 4, following an extended illness. He was a well-respected and well liked member of this community, as he was in all of the many other communities his life touched.
Born on July 17, 1921 in Lyons, Ga. and growing up on St. Simon’s Island, he attended and graduated from Glynn Academy in 1941.  Following graduation W. L. worked at several jobs, including working at the shipyards in Brunswick, prior to joining the Navy in 1943. He served in the Pacific including landing with the 2nd Marine Division during the initial assault on Okinawa. He discharged as an Able Bodied Seaman (Shipfitter 2nd Class) on January 17, 1946.
Along the way, while visiting a local skating rink, he met and later married the love of his life, Moonyeen Brown, on November 2, 1941. They just celebrated their 74st wedding anniversary this week shortly before his death.
Following his discharge, W. L. began a long and illustrious career with The Southern Company and Georgia Power.  He worked for 30 years as an engineer and retired as a district manager in 1976.  Following his retirement from Georgia Power, he became president of the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.  He retained that position for many years, with many accolades, including the “Man of the Year” award celebrated during the 1985 St. Patrick’s Day celebration, which he hosted for many years.
An avid golfer and starting late in life at the sport was only another challenge to him. He became a single digit handicap amateur and excelled at a game that has been described not only as difficult but almost impossible to master. He and his friend, Tom Rhea, won the 1985 Georgia Power Classic.  The field had an impressive number of top flight amateurs and was nowhere near being a “club match”. He also won numerous other golf tournaments and was considered “one of the best” in amateur golf in the State of Georgia.
W. L. is survived by his loving wife of 74 years, Moonyeen Brown Wilkes  of Claxton; his daughters, Claire Wilkes Majors of Claxton and Nan Wilkes DeColaines (Don) of High Shoals, Ga.; a loving granddaughter, Kristan Majors Chilcoat and great granddaughter, Claire Sophia Chilcoat (named after her great grandmothers). He further leaves a multitude of devoted nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 7, in the chapel at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home, 513 W. Main St., Claxton.
Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. with a memorial service at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Wounded Warriors Association.
J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.