On Saturday afternoon, August 14th, George Wilkinson died peacefully in Washington County, Tennessee with his wife of 48 years by his side.
Born April 29, 1935 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Harold H. and Margaret (nee Durney) Wilkinson, he was surrounded in childhood by maternal aunts and uncles whose stories and gift of gab he carried his whole life.
George excelled early in academics and athletics. As a varsity swimmer, he received his letter at Pierre S. DuPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, and was three time indoor and outdoor Delaware State diving champion.
With a “paramount interest in hot rods,” he entered college with an education that fostered a lifelong passion for history, reading, and golf. Then, like his older brother, he enlisted in the United States Air Force which gave wing to his childhood dream of piloting a plane.
An engineer by training and profession, he was also a talented musician, gifted artist, and industrial designer who was able to build and fly his own plane.
This combination of interests made for a man who was one of a kind and well able to recognize talent in other people and ready to recount his own experiences with a quick wit and great humor.
George enjoyed strong business mentorships, long friendships, and warm relationships with any business where he traded.
Locally, he is survived by his wife, Deborah K. (Aldredge) Wilkinson and his daughter, Allyson Lind Wilkinson Schnorr, and son-in-law Daniel M. Schnorr.
It was Allyson and Dan’s love for and commitment to Jonesborough that brought George and his wife to the place George had remembered from the early 1960’s as the most beautiful valley in the world.
This cross-country move from Tucson, Arizona brought opportunity for his last decade to be a time filled with gratitude; he called himself a lucky man to have lived the life he had and be with family surrounded by natural beauty.
He also leaves behind beloved family members in other places: two sons, George “Bud” Wilkinson, Jr. of Washington D.C., and Michael Wilkinson of Dayton, Ohio. His boys carry his charm as well as artistic and musical talent and were a source of pride for him.
Preceded in death by his parents and brother, Harold H. Wilkinson, George is also survived by cherished extended family including Mr. and Mrs. Alan Wilkinson (Arizona), Barry Wilkinson (Hawaii), Betty Lou Kivler (Delaware), and Kristen Jarmin (North Carolina).
Burdened by Alzheimer’s in his later years, George managed to recognize family and the tune of certain American Standards (“when popular music was good and good music was popular”) up to the very end.
Private burial services will be conducted but the family wishes to thank the countless friends, nurses, and service providers who have made him comfortable in his final months.