George “Buddy” Wilkerson, 84, of Amarillo died July 7, 2020.
Graveside service will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 11, 2020 in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m., at South Georgia Baptist Church, 5209 S. Georgia St. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home. The family respectfully request that masks are worn.
Buddy was born June 8, 1936 in Lane, OK to Gainie and Ruby Wilkerson. He graduated from Cyril High School and attended OBU. He worked for a seismograph company then moved to Canadian to work for Mobil Oil and there he met the love of his life, Beverly Crowell. On that day, Beverly was walking home when she noticed a car full of people that passed by several times. They offered her a ride home and she reluctantly accepted. At one point, the driver said his foot was falling asleep, to which Buddy replied, “you should wear loud socks.” Later, Buddy asked Beverly for a date which she refused, as she “did not know him.” Buddy began attending her church, and Beverly finally relented after asking her cousin to chaperone. In later years, when asked how they met Buddy often replied, “I picked her up on a street corner.” Buddy and Beverly married on September 8, 1956.
Buddy and Beverly spent their marriage enjoying the various activities of their children and grandchildren, camping and travelling. Buddy enlisted several fireman and friends to help him build a cabin in Spanish Peaks Ranch in Colorado. He and Beverly enjoyed spending time together there. Buddy was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to fish, hunt, golf and shoot guns. He took great joy in showing others how to learn those skills as well and was happier when someone caught a fish rather than himself.
Faith and family were an important part of his life. Buddy and Beverly were members of Bell Avenue Baptist Church since 1969. He sang in the choir and volunteered his time working in the nursery with the little kids. They called him “Mr. Buddy.” In younger years, he played on the church Slow-pitch Softball team. Buddy was one of eight brothers. After his mother passed, the brothers vowed to continue their tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving together every year.
In 1960, he started with the Amarillo Fire Department where he dedicated 36 years of service. He began as a Hoseman, working his way up to District Chief when he retired in 1996. He was widely admired and well-liked in the Fire Department. He enjoyed his 1st day to his last. Buddy especially loved his job as the Fire Department was a family, a brotherhood.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Gainie and Ruby Wilkerson; granddaughter, Amanda Wilkerson; and sister-in-law, Dianna Wilkerson.
Buddy is survived by his wife, Beverly; daughter, Robin Steele and husband J.P. of Amarillo; 4 sons, Wesley Wilkerson of Las Vegas, NV, Steve Wilkerson and husband Kevin Costange of Becket, MA, Darin Wilkerson and wife Deanna of Amarillo, TX, and Clay Wilkerson and wife Betsy of Katy, TX; 7 brothers, Zach Wilkerson and wife Jean of El Dorado, KS, Richard Wilkerson and wife Donis of Duncan, OK, Tom Wilkerson and partner Robin of Sonoma, CA, Alvin Wilkerson and wife Anna of Fletcher, OK, Kenny Wilkerson of Rochester, WA, Gary Wilkerson and wife Sandi of Elgin, OK and Tim Wilkerson and wife Krystal of Apache, OK; 7 grandchildren, Michael, Lauren, Ryan, Ruby, Curtis, Rory and Luke; and 2 great-grandchildren, Alex and Aiden.
The family suggests memorials be made to The Assistance Fund TAF or The Parkinson’s Foundation.