John Gordon Wilkerson Jr., former Baylor University regent and deacon at First Baptist Church in Lubbock, died Aug. 28 after a battle with cancer. He was 86. He was born in Lubbock on Dec. 18, 1934. After he graduated from Lubbock High School in 1953, Wilkerson went on to earn a degree from Baylor University in 1957. He assumed leadership of Wilkerson Cold Storage Co. in 1956 and remained chairman of the company until his death. Baylor made it possible for him to complete his degree via correspondence courses and graduate with his class while he worked in Lubbock following his father’s death in a plane crash. This forged a lifelong love for and loyalty to Baylor. He married Ruth Collins on June 21, 1958. They spent the next 63 years together in Lubbock, where their family grew to include four children and where they were actively involved in serving their church, schools and community. In addition to serving as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Lubbock, Wilkerson taught Sunday school and was president of Men’s Brotherhood. He worked on numerous church committees and served as an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 9. Ruth and John were gracious in sharing their home with others in countless fellowships. Wilkerson served 18 years as a Baylor University regent, including two as chair of the board. He was president of the Hankamer School of Business alumni board of directors, a director of the Baylor Alumni Association and chair of Baylor’s Development Council. As a lifelong Lubbock citizen, Wilkerson served as chairman of the Board of City Development, the Lubbock County Appraisal District and the Civil Service Commission. He was preceded in death by his brother, Howard; his son, Ray; and his granddaughter, Meredith. Survivors include his wife Ruth; son Gordon and wife Lori; son David and wife Kim; daughter Sarah Scott and husband Richard; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and his sister Mary Grady and her husband Bill. Memorial gifts may be sent to the Ray Hankins Wilkerson Endowed Scholarship Fund, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, TX 76798, Memo: Wilkerson HSB ESF #434SFNE.
Obituary: John Gordon Wilkerson Jr.
September 1, 2021