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Mike Winfred Wilkins, 85, longtime member of Shady Grove Baptist Church of Sparkman, went home to be with the LORD on March 4, 2023.
He was preceded in death by his parents Mike Decatur and Tishie Frances Marshall Wilkins; his siblings and their spouses: John D. (Ruby) Wilkins, Edward (Lena Bell) Wilkins, Frances (Earl) Hearnsberger, Vivian (Danny) Burke, Emogene Wilkins, Thomas (Frances) Wilkins, Marie (Cliff) Tutt, Billy (Fern) Wilkins; two nephews, and one niece.
Survivors include his wife of sixty-four years, Betty Sue Launius Wilkins; his daughters, Kathy (Sam) May and Kim Wilkins both of Sparkman and Donna (Johnny) Barnes of College Station, Texas; his granddaughters: Brooke May, Lauren (Richard) Franks, Corie (Emery) Patton, Kelli (Matt) Fritsch and Randi (Zach) Dickson; his great grands: Sawyer, Charlee, Hadley, Hudson, Hazen, Easton, Leighton and Charleston as well as his special friend and helper, Candy Husband and a multitude of other family and friends.
A sincere thank you goes to the Sparkman Volunteer Fire/Rescue Unit and The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
After graduating from Sparkman High School, Mike proudly served our country in The U.S. Air Force for twenty years. During that time, he served on the search and rescue of Alan Shepard and the space capsule that splashed down after he became the first American in space. He followed that with time spent in Vietnam, where he earned a Distinguished Flying Cross Medal for the successful landing of a plane that had been shot by enemy fire with holes being sheer millimeters from the fuel tanks.
After retiring from the military, he moved his family back home to Sparkman. His hobbies included fishing- especially Red Horse fishing where he had a weekly $1 bet with his brothers and brother-in-law, Cliff as to who could land the biggest fish. He also enjoyed hunting. Who can forget the year that on the very first day of muzzleloading, he got so excited at the buck deer he saw, that he fell out of the deer stand sustaining injury and breaking the stock off his brand new gun all without getting off a shot. He liked camping with friends at Lake DeGray. One of his greatest hobbies was rooting for the Raiders- where fans at Strong will always remember the night that he got so excited as the Raiders were racing to the endzone, that his false teeth fell out and clanked on every one of those metal bleacher seats like a slinky falling down a case of stairs.
Upon returning to Sparkman, he wore many hats. He mowed grass at area cemeteries, spent twenty plus years on The Sparkman Volunteer Fire/Rescue Unit (many of those serving as chief.) He also served as a Dallas County Axillary Officer and owned Sparkman Ford Motor Company. He was a mechanic as well. He was known as Mr. Mickey, The Candyman/Handyman for over 17 years at Sparkman School, where he tormented the teachers by sugaring up their kids with Blow Pop suckers that he toted around in his shirt pocket or with the whole box that sat in the seat of his unlocked little brown pickup.
But with all these hats, the most important one to him was that of Grandaddy to Brooke, Lauren, Sawyer and Charlee, where the motto usually was, “if it goes in the buggy at Wal Mart, then it’s going to the house.” So, you can imagine all the junk that came to “The Hill.” But in all seriousness, even up to the end, there were very few days that he did not ask “Where are the kids?” meaning Sawyer and Charlee.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 7, 2023, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Sparkman First Baptist Church (213 S. Broadway Ave.).
Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. The service will be officiated be Bro. Sonny Tucker and Bro. James Guthrie.
Graveside service with military honors will follow at DeLamar Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Richard Franks, Brent Walker, Jeff Ford, James Walker, Paul Robbins and George Tutt.
Arrangements are entrusted to Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923.
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)
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