Walter Wilkins, of Akron, NY. Born to Joseph Henry Wilkins and Margaret Butterbaugh Wilkins on June 10, 1935, in Pittsburgh, PA. Died March 11, 2022.
Walt re-located to Akron, NY in 1953 searching for employment. It has been said that Akron has never been the same since he arrived.
He found work in the gypsum mines of Western New York. In the mines while working for Georgia Pacific he set off dynamite, hauled gypsum and worked “on top” manufacturing wall board.
Walt also found employment at several of Akron’s taverns, working part time as a bartender and manager. After the gypsum plant closed and several of the taverns went out of business, he drove truck, did lawn care and spent fifteen years as a school bus driver for the Akron School District from where he retired.
His passion was singing, he knew and sang the words to countless country music and other genres of music.
Affectionately known as “The Birdman” he was a fun-loving carefree man. He was quick with a joke and a smile. A master euchre player. He served his community as a volunteer fireman. During his time as an Akron fireman, he fought some of Akron’s most historical fires. He was also the captain of their bowling team and a star softball pitcher, playing the game for well over fifty years. He was the lead bugler for the Akron Fire Company marching band. He also sky dived and rode a classic full-dress Indian motorcycle.
As a youth he lived in both the city Pittsburgh in southside flats and the little town of Bellwood, PA on a dirt road named Kerbaugh. He attended Bellwood-Antis School District where he said he would go to school to eat his lunch. His school memories included playing football for the school’s team, traveling central PA to play ball. His love for the game continued all his life as a Buffalo Bills fan who would organize bus excursions to the Bills games for the fire company and friends.
He was an avid reader. His favorite book being the Bible that he read cover to cover nineteen times. Bible verses that he frequented were John 8:7 and Matthew 7:1.
He leaves behind a sister, Virginia Wilkins Pfahler of Pinecroft, PA. Sister in law Rose Zamaris Wilkins of Fallentimber, PA. Children, Walter “Craig” Wilkins (Sandra), Chris Wilkins (Suzanne), Terry Wilkins (Robyn), Christian Heidi Anderson, Fallon Wilkins Kumro (Darren), Joseph Wilkins. Nineteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Predeceased are siblings, Joseph Wilkins, Paul Wilkins, Benjamin Franklin Wilkins, Rosella Margaret Wilkins Moceika, Fred Wilkins, Raymond D Wilkins. And a great grandchild Angelina Peluso.
Walter Wilkins will return to his boyhood home of Bellwood PA and be buried near his mother in Logan Valley Cemetery, a football field is distance away from, and within sight of his alma mater.
Family and friends are cordially invited to share thoughts, condolences and memories on Friday (March 18th) from 11am-2pm and 5-8pm at the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home, LLC, 32 John St., Akron, NY. A memorial service will be held Saturday, 11am at High Point Church, 1163 Main Rd., Corfu, NY, followed by a luncheon at the church. Main meal will be provided and bringing a side dish or dessert is encouraged.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Akron Fire Company, 1 Main St, Akron, NY 14001. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at: www.mcandrewfuneralhomes.net.
Arrangements were entrusted to the J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home, LLC, 32 John St., Akron, NY 14001. Ronald Konieczny II, Director.