Robert P. Wilkinson is from one of the pioneer families of southern Mississippi and was born on land that had been in his family for over 100 years. He graduated from Gloster High School, class of 1938. At 18 he walked 5 miles into town to board a bus to New Orleans to join the Navy. This was his home for the next 30 years.
During World War II he was in the Battle of Peleliu at a radio relay station. Keeping the radio working and protecting their "Code Talker" was the mission. Food was in short supply and when the war was over he came back to the States weighing less than 100 pounds.
He crossed the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans so often he lost count. One of his favorite duty stations was living in Hawaii for three years. His second must have been living in Clarksville Base in Tenn. he was stationed there twice.
On leave in December of 1952 he went home to Gloster Mississippi where his older brother WH set him up on a blind date with Gloria Coghlan of Woodville, MS for New Years Eve. It was love at first site and they were married a short time later in Tenn. (She had to pass a FBI background check first) From this marriage three blond daughters were born. Jo Lynn Holloman, Norma Dee and Robin Eve Wilkinson. Two grand-kids, Heather Burkett O'Sullivan and Bradley Burkett.
After retiring from the Navy he went to college at Florida Technology University, now known as University of Central Florida. He finished first in his class for his BA in Business Administration and his MBA. At this point he started to golf three or four days a week.
You can take the boy out of the country but you will never get the country out of the boy. Whenever they moved, Gloria would be checking out the houses bedrooms and schools, Bob was checking out the yard to see how large of a garden he could grow. Half of any back yard he had, had a garden in it and that is where Gloria found him when he passed from a stroke on her 80th birthday.
CWO4 US Navy
World War II
Gloria Elizabeth Coghlan Wilkinson
1930–2013 (m. 1953)