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Joan Elaine Wilkes
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Birth: Oct. 29, 1915
Raleigh County
West Virginia, USA
Death: Mar. 2, 2007
Raleigh County
West Virginia, USA

By Michelle James
One of the brightest lights in Beckley for more than 50 years, is now shining down from above. Retired educator Joan Elaine Wilkes, whose family helped build Beckley more than 100 years ago, and who, for more than 50 years was an avid supporter of nearly every charitable group within the community, passed away Friday at her home following a long illness.
A daughter of the late William Wesley and Grace Lilly Wilkes, the family moved to Beckley at the beginning of the 1900s. Instrumental in Beckley's early years, the Wilkes family was involved in several businesses as Wilkes' grandfather was a banker, her father ran an insurance business and older sister Grace operated the family's dress shop.
A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley College, Concord College and West Virginia University, Wilkes spent 41 years as a teacher at Crab Orchard and Lincoln elementary schools.
She was a member of the Mountain State University Alumni Hall of Fame, was a deaconess of the First Baptist Church in Beckley, corresponding secretary for the Daughters of the American Revolution and had been active in the Moose, Kiwanis and Rhododendron clubs. Wilkes also served on the advisory board for the Beckley Salvation Army, was a charter member of the Raleigh County Historical Society and Humane Society, XI Chapter of Delta Gamma International Society and was a lifetime member of the Raleigh County Public Library.
In 2003, Wiles and her sister Betty, were named the recipients of the Beckley-Raleigh County YMCA Spirit of Beckley award, for their contributions, both time and financial support, to church and area organizations. In 2006, Concord College, in part because of a $1 million donation by the sisters, unveiled plans for University Pointe, a new center which will include the Wilkes Family Interfaith Chapel and Museum.
Salvation Army Capt. Bob Cornett said he believed Wilkes, in death, is now receiving the recognition and reward for the lives she touched, not only as a philanthropist but as an educator.
(Obituary from the "Register-Herald," Beckley, WV, March 4, 2007.) 
Family links: 
  William Wesley Wilkes (1881 - 1942)
  Grace Nannie Lilly Wilkes (1882 - 1962)
  Grace Lilly Wilkes (1910 - 1980)*
  Joan Elaine Wilkes (1915 - 2007)
*Calculated relationship
Sunset Memorial Park
Raleigh County
West Virginia, USA
Plot: Wilkes Family Triangle Section
Maintained by: Judy Llamas
Originally Created by: historianne
Record added: Feb 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105788317
Joan Elaine Wilkes
Added by: Judy Llamas
Joan Elaine Wilkes
Added by: historianne
Joan Elaine Wilkes
Added by: historianne
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GOD Bless you Joan. Your former student you use to call "Sambo Weenie" in front of the classroom in the 1970's who had much trouble with reading at Lincoln Elementary School in Beckley WV. May you rest in God's eternal peace!
- Sam
 Added: Oct. 5, 2015

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