Obituary of Billy Wilkinson
Billy Ray “Red” Wilkinson, of Iantha, MO, age 72, passed away December 29, at Freeman Hospital, surrounded by his family. He was born in Fredricktown, MO, August 24, 1945, to Lloyd Sylvester and Loretta Rose Mills Wilkinson. Red had many occupations but best known here in Barton County as the big strong ER nurse with the deep voice. He was preceded in death by his father Lloyd Wilkinson. He is survived by his wife of almost 40 years Charleen K. (Smith) Wilkinson , his mother Loretta Rose Wilkinson of Festus, MO, a daughter Katie Whitekiller and husband Charles of Neosho, MO, 4 sons, Billy Wilkinson and wife Lori of Sand Springs, OK, Matt Hymer and wife Holly of Seneca, MO, Chris Hymer of Seneca, MO, and Jacob Hymer and wife Kristie of Willard MO; 16 Grand Children, Jeff and wife Talor, Josh and wife Casey, Justin and wife Christin, Hannah, Jessica, Lyndie, Lucy, Jacoby, Lance, Brady, Davy and wife Taylor, Rachel, Mason, Dachel, Kailey, and Austin; and 4 great granddaughters Madison, Molly, Murphy, and Sophia. Also Surviving are 3 sisters: Betty Ciolek, Ruth Greishaber, and Nancy White, and 4 brothers Henry, Ted, Charles, and Tom, and many nieces and nephews.
Red attended Fredricktown High School in Fredricktown, MO and then attended college at School of the Ozarks where he received an Associate in Business degree and was on the fire department where he became the youngest Fire Chief in the State of Missouri at age 17. He continued in the fire service for the next 26 years serving on the fire department in Seneca and helped establish the certification program for the University of Missouri Fire Academy. He worked at BF Goodrich in Miami, OK for 19 years and was in charge of fire safety and training. After BF Goodrich closed, he returned to college and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. He started his nursing career at Oak Hill Hospital in Joplin, MO followed by Barton County Hospital in Lamar. He served as the Director of Nursing at Buena Vista in Carthage and Joplin Healthcare Center. He retired from nursing in 2010 from Barton County Hospital and retired a second time from Truman Healthcare and Rehab in 2017 at the age of 71.
He coached his daughter Katie's softball team, the Seneca Milnot Whippettes, as well as Little League and Babe Ruth teams in Jasper. As his family grew, he loved spending time with his grandkids and watching their many activities. His was so proud of his family and loved to hunt and fish with his sons and grandkids, and watch St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday January 6th at the Lamar United Methodist Church at 3 PM. Friends will be received at the church from 1 to 3 pm prior to the service. Burial will be at the Iantha Cemetery immediately following the service.
From Chris: One funny story I can tell is one time my little brother Jacob and I got home from school and wanted to go fishing at the pond. We rushed through our chores and headed down to the pond. Fish where biting really good that day if I recall then we hear Mom calling from the house. We picked up our poles and headed back to the house. When we walked up we knew things were going to be bad. Rushing through chores seems not so good when mom checks your work anyway we got a spanking from mom but this is when it really gets bad. After mom had got onto us and we got a spanking that didn’t hurt! Jacob and I where laughing about it behind the shop about the time dad came out of the house. He asked what’s so funny and of course we said nothing a few minutes later we hear a deep voice yell BOYS!!! We went over to see what was going on he found out that we skipped most of our chores and that we where laughing at mom’s spanking not hurting. I don’t know if you have ever been spanked with a boat ore but Jacob and I have and I can promise we never skipped doing chores again. I Love you dad thank you for always being there for me. I learned a lot of many lessons from you over the years and I’m going to miss being able to pick up the phone and call to ask for some good dad advice. I will do my best to look after mom just as you have for the last 39years.