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Robert  Murray  Wilkerson
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Obituary for Robert Murray Wilkerson

Robert Murray Wilkerson was born on July 19, 1920 to Milton and Mary Wilkerson of Fort Towson, Oklahoma. He was the eldest of three children and showed an early interest in athletics and mechanical work. In 1937 Robert joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in order to help his family make ends meet during the Great Depression, serving the maximum 18 months. After completing his assignment with the CCC, Robert returned to school and graduated from Fort Towson High School on May 19, 1942 lettering in football and basketball. Robert answered the call when his country needed him most, as an aircraft mechanic, transport gunner, and air crewman in the Pacific Theater during World War 2. His tour took him from New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, through the Liberation of the Philippines, to Luzon, and finally the Western Pacific to Japan, where he served as a crewman on one of the first reconnaissance flights over the ruins of Hiroshima.

Upon returning home, he married his sweetheart and one great love, Amogene. The couple settled in Greenville Texas and began a family. Robert stayed in the service and declined numerous promotional offers to stay in Texas, to be near his extended family and give stability to his wife and 6 children. He stayed a military man for 32 years and performed just about every job the Army could throw at him- machine gunner, rifleman, mortarman, infantry platoon sergeant, marksmanship instructor, track vehicle mechanic, engine mechanic, and company commander. His records are filled to the brim with praise and accolades from his superior officers. His career eventually brought him to Tinker Air Force Base, where he retired. Throughout his time in the military, he maintained strong friendships with many of the soldiers he served with. He attended reunions for as long as he was able, and could recall minute details of his time in service and the friends he'd made and kept.

But it was in his personal life that Robert truly shined. A loving father and husband, he raised 6 exceptional people who in turn raised numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Affectionately called “Grandaddy”, he was always in the bleachers or in the audience, always present in the lives of his family and friends when needed most. He was a soft-spoken man of fierce loyalty and stoic kindness. His family members hold him in reverence for his wholly unique blend of quiet strength and compassion. The calming effect he had on people just by being in his presence was palpable, and difficult to describe to those who never witnessed it. Through all the difficulties and tragedies of family life, including the loss of his beloved wife Amogene and son Kenneth before their time, he held his family together with an unspoken, unfailing love that will shine down through generations.

Robert embodied everything good about the country we live in. A model soldier during war, a devoted family man in peace, he lived 97 years to the fullest of his ability, leaving behind both a staggering legacy of selfless virtue and an unfillable void. To those of us lucky enough to have never known life without his comforting presence, we will be forever diminished by his passing. We take comfort in the knowledge that he has lifelong friends, brothers in arms, and dearest loved ones welcoming him home at last.

Viewing will be 12PM-8PM on Thursday at Barnes Friederich Funeral Home. A graveside service to celebrate Robert’s life will be held at 10AM, Friday, June 22, 2018 at Arlington Memory Gardens.


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Previous Events

Viewing

Thursday

21

Jun

12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Barnes Friederich Funeral Home

1820 S. Douglas Blvd.
Midwest City, OK 73130

Graveside

Friday

22

Jun

10:00 AM
Arlington Memory Gardens

3400 N Midwest Blvd.
Midwest City, OK 73141

Cemetery Details

Location

Arlington Memory Gardens

3400 N Midwest Blvd.
Midwest City, OK 73141

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