Charles H. Wilkerson
Of Prime Hook Beach, Milford, DE, passed away Thursday, December 16, 2010 at Bayhealth Milford after a short illness. He was 93 years old.
Mr. Wilkerson was a native Milfordian born in his grandparents home at 203 Truitt Avenue on August 8, 1917, son of the late Charles VanNuis and Kathryn Sawyer Hobbs Wilkerson.
He was a 1935 graduate of Milford High School and then Beacom College in Wilmington completing their business program.
He was a veteran in the Navy in World War II and served for 2 1/2 years.
His work life began in 1930 part-time for his father at J.H. Wilkerson & Son, Inc. The company had been established by C.V. Wilkerson and his father, James Henry Wilkerson in 1919, when they purchased a brick manufacturing plant located next to the Mispillion River. This location was later recognized by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and listed on the National Register of Early Manufacturing Sites in 1978. The business went through several transitions throughout the years and in 1962, a home heating oil distributorship was started. At the same time, the company ventured into the public water service industry establishing Prime Hook Water Company to provide potable water to the residents of Prime Hook Beach. His father died in 1963 and he became President of J.H. Wilkerson & Son, Inc., a position he held until his death. In the late 1960's, he explored the possibility of providing water to Broadkill Beach, which he did in 1973. Later he established a third subsidiary, Wilkerson Water Company which serves seven communities in Kent and Sussex County. He was a licensed water operator in the State of Delaware and in 2002 was awarded the Environmental Lifetime Achievement Award from the Office of Drinking Water. He never considered retirement and worked in the family business for 80 years. The business was his pride and joy.
He was a member of the Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford since 1928, where in past years he had served on the Administrative Board, belonged to the Methodist Men and served as Sunday School Secretary.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, Elizabeth Virginia Millman Wilkerson, who died on January 2, 2007.
He is survived by three sons and three daughters-in-law; Charles V. and Pamela H. Wilkerson of Milford; James H. and Karen Carey Wilkerson of Milford and David A. and Arlene D. Wilkerson of Prime Hook Beach; two grandchildren, Kathryn L. Wilkerson of Fallston, MD and Ty J. Wilkerson of Milford; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Margaret A. and Alton H. Maull and Doris Hobbs, all of Milford and many other family members of the Wilkersons and the Millmans.
Services will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 20, 2010 at Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St, Milford, where friends may call from 4-7 p.m.
Burial will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions to the Milford Community Food Pantry c/o Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St, Milford, DE, 19963 or directly to Avenue United Methodist Church.