Charles Weldon Wilkerson, 87, passed away Monday, Aug, 19 at his daughter and son-in-law’s home in Pearland. Weldon was born to Carl Willie Wilkerson and Amanda Abigail Collins-Wilkerson Feb. 21, 1932 on the family farm near Hope. As a young child, he was baptized in a river in the Baptist faith tradition. Growing up in the Hope-Yoakum area of Texas, he loved to ride horses and hunt with his father. Due to the tomato crop failure, the family was forced to move in the mid 1940s to Galveston. It was here where Weldon attended and graduated from Ball High School in 1950. While living on the island, he saw Marjorie Lee Meyer at school and fell in love at first sight. They dated for five years and married. After the devastation of Hurricane Carla in 1961, they moved to Angleton and later, Pasadena.
An excellent provider for his family, Weldon worked as an office manager for 32 years for the Texas Employment Commission starting in Galveston, and later, in Pasadena where he retired 32 years ago. Prior to that, he also worked as a soda fountain jerk at Farb’s Drug Store in Galveston, as well as a bank teller at John Hutchins Sealy National Bank, along with other odd jobs. Endowed with a strong work ethic, he was a witness to those who were from America’s greatest generation. An exemplary citizen, he was invited to be an Ambassador by the Mayor of Pasadena. He also proudly served in the Texas National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves for many years respectively.
Weldon and Marjorie have three children: Charles Ray Wilkerson (Debbie), Sondra Schaaf (Stacy), and Fr. Wayne Wilkerson, affectionately known as “the caboose.” Strong-willed and in control until the end, he led his family by example. He always placed his wife first in his life, living by the motto that “when mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.” Weldon married Marjorie, his high school sweetheart, Feb. 9, 1952 at First Lutheran Church in Galveston. A few years ago, while attending a wedding in Round Top, he gave a wise advice to the newlyweds, saying, “never go to bed mad and marry your best friend” – a mantra for life that he lived by. Weldon and Marjorie enjoyed 67 years of happy marriage, most of which they lived in Pasadena (1961-2012).
Weldon is survived by four grandchildren: Brian Sr. (Tonja), Darren, Emma and Tyler as well as great-grandchildren: Susie (Austin), Brian Jr., and Kayla and one great-great grandson, Easton. His brother-in-law Ferdinand Leo Meyer Jr. and sister-in-law Sue Wilkerson also survive him. He treasured being Paka and grandpa to his grandchildren and those whom he dearly loved as his own: Robert, Kevin, Stefano, Victoria, Madelyn and Jacquelyn. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive him. His parents Carl and Abbie, his sister who was stillborn, and his brother Walter Ray Wilkerson precede him in death.
Through the example of his wife and her parents, who were devout Lutherans, Weldon wanted to raise the family under one faith. And so, on the same Sunday that his daughter Sondra was baptized, he was confirmed into the Lutheran faith. A man of faith and trust in God, he was a founding member of Peace Lutheran Church in Pasadena, and an active member of the Peace Lutheran Brotherhood, Kiwanis Club-Pasadena, S.P.J.S.T. Pasadena Lodge, T.P.E.A., Prime Timers, Sunshiner’s and most recently of Trinity Lutheran Church in Frelsburg, Texas.
He served as a reader at his church and was honored to be on the Church Council. He looked forward to Sunday school, enjoyed bible study, and fellowship with his Lutheran Brotherhood over breakfast and coffee. He and Margie also enjoyed game nights, which included playing dominoes, joker, and card games. In his younger years, he loved hunting, fishing, and riding to look at the deer. Last of all, he was always a voracious reader of Westerns, biographies and Texas history. It was perhaps his predilection for Westerns that sharpened his unique Texas witticisms. As he would say, “if you haven’t travelled down a gravel road, you haven’t seen Texas.” For Weldon, reading opened new frontiers and experiences that made the world a larger place. Never knowing a stranger and born without a filter, he was always the consummate storyteller. He will be deeply missed, and we are better for having had him in our lives.
Visitation was Sunday, Aug. 25 at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus. A Vigil for the Deceased was commenced at 7 p.m. The funeral service was Monday, Aug. 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Frelsburg, and it was followed by the Rite of Christian Burial at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Stacy Schaaf, Brian Wilkerson, Sr., Darren Wilkerson, Brian Wilkerson, Jr., Eddie Wilkerson, Jeff Pflughaupt, Lambert Brune and Robert Parker Jr. The honorary pallbearers were Tyler Schaaf, Gene Hlavaty, Clyde Skarke, Delbert Kulhanek, Glenn Weishuhn and Austin Maddox.
The family of Weldon wishes to thank all who served as Weldon’s Angels during his battle with leukemia: Rita and Neto Nwazojie, RaeNelle Dockal, Dolores Koza, Helen Stigant, Christine Hegwood, Kristine Caligur, Beth Naef, Marilyn and Clyde Skarke, Merri, Simone, Stefano, Madelyn, and Jacquelyn Morales, Tamara Smith, Victoria and Kevin Vogt, Keith Gartner, Leah Schaaf, Jeff and Ruby Pflughaupt, Lambert, Carol and Leigh Ann Brune, Charles Ray and Debbie Wilkerson, Wayne Wilkerson, Stacy, Sondra and Emma Schaaf. Thanks also go to Houston Hospice and nurses from No Place Like Home.
The clergy serving included Pastor Glenn Hohlt (Frelsburg) and Pastor Rodwell Thom (Pasadena). His son, Fr. Wayne Wilkerson, a Catholic priest and pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Houston, gave the sermon and performed the Rite of Christian Burial. If Weldon were still alive, he would have proudly introduced his son to those in attendance in the following way: “I am the father of the Father.”
Memorials may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church in Frelsburg, Texas.
Online condolences may be given to the family at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.