Larry D. Wilkinson, 82, Richland Township, Whitley County, died unexpectedly early Friday morning, Sept. 16, 2016, at his home.
He was born May 20, 1934, in Columbia Township, Whitley County, a son of Joseph R. and Mildred P. (Harshman) Wilkinson. As a young boy, his family moved to Richland Township from Etna Township. He graduated from Larwill High School.
On Nov. 14, 1956, he was inducted in the United States Army, serving with the minutemen missile crew in Germany. He was honorably discharged Nov. 1, 1962.
He began working for International Harvester in 1958, retiring from Navistar in 1991 with 31 years of service. He was also former co-owner of Norm’s Sport Shop. Throughout the years, he also assisted his brothers with the farming.
On Jan. 24, 1960, he was united in marriage to Mary E. Pritchard. They have always made their home in Richland Township, moving to their present home in January 1961.
His memberships include New Hope Wesleyan Church, Whitley County Ag Museum and Learning Center and Indiana Garden Tractor Pullers Association of which he won state championship one year. He also coached Larwill Little League for several years. A private pilot, he enjoyed attending many air shows.
Surviving relatives include his wife of 56 years: Mary; three children: Laura (Charles) Wheeler, Larwill; Gary (Jeannie) Wilkinson, Larwill; and David (Dawn) Wilkinson, South Whitley; seven grandchildren: Anthony Schrader; Ashley Groeller; Trevor Wilkinson; Jared Wheeler; Alec Wheeler; Natalie Wheeler; Emilie Moscias-Chavez; four great-grandchildren; a bother: Galen (Betty) Wilkinson, Larwill; and three sisters: Joyce (Dale) Lawrence, Columbia City; Marilyn (Emmett) Pletcher, Warsaw; and Donna (Fred) Martz, Columbia, Mo.; and a sister-in-law: Janet Wilkinsn, South Whitley. He was preceded in death by three brothers: Dayne; Max; and Caroll.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Smith and Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. The burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery. The visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 6 -8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the funeral home.
Preferred memorials are to Whitley County Ag Museum and Learning Center.