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 Joan Elaine Wilkes

Joan Elaine Wilkes

Birth
Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Death 2 Mar 2007 (aged 91)
Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Plot Wilkes Family Triangle Section
Memorial ID 105788317 · View Source
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BELOVED FORMER EDUCATOR, PHILANTHROPIST, PASSES AWAY
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.)


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  • Maintained by: Judy Llamas
  • Originally Created by: historianne
  • Added: 25 Feb 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 105788317
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joan Elaine Wilkes (29 Oct 1915–2 Mar 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105788317, citing Sunset Memorial Park, Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Judy Llamas (contributor 46854247) .