JEFFERSON – Julius Thomas “J.T.” Wilkes, 81, retired Jackson County probate judge and longtime community leader, died Monday, March 1, 2010, in Athens, following a brief illness.
Mr. Wilkes retired in 1992 as probate judge after having served 20 years. He was a former businessman, having owned and operated Wilkes Texaco in Jefferson for many years. He was a past president of the Commerce Kiwanis Club, a member of the Jefferson Lions Club, the Jackson County Historic Courthouse Committee, Jackson County Habitat for Humanity, Unity Masonic Lodge, the Tumbling Waters Society, the Jackson County Historical Society and the Jefferson First United Methodist Church, where he was a member of the Stan Escoe Sunday School class.
Mr. Wilkes was founder of the original Jefferson Retired Old Men Eating Out (ROMEO) Club and was captain, manager and starting pitcher of the Brockton Old Timers. He also was a founder of the Jefferson Little League baseball program. Mr. Wilkes was a graduate of Martin Institute, Jefferson.
He was born in Jefferson, son of the late Worth and Mattie Jackson Wilkes. He also was preceded in death by three sisters, Laconia Wilkes, Thelma Nabors and Frances Glenn.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Jacque Hutchins Wilkes; two sons and daughters-in-law, Tim and Mona Wilkes, Crawford, and Andy and Chrisann Wilkes, Norcross; one daughter and son-in-law, Juli and Alex Wisotsky, Athens; two sisters, Carolyn Evans and Connie Hemphill, both of Jefferson; two brothers, Luther Wilkes and Henley Wilkes, both of Jefferson; nine grandchildren, Tegan, Tyler, Rachel, Zak, Nik, Elliot, Isobel, Kimba and Erik.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 4, at 2 p.m., at the Jefferson First United Methodist Church with David Bowen and the Rev. Carey Gibson officiating. Burial will be in the Bethany United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers will be Andy Wilkes, Tim Wilkes, Alex Wisotsky, Zak Ellison, Nik Ellison, Tyler Wilkes, Garry Glenn and Elliot Wilkes. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be members of the original ROMEO club: Harry Bryan, Bob Bates, Wayne Wiley, Gordon Wilson, Bill Ives, Thomas Harris, Harmon Dearman, Jack Legg, John Cunning and Cecil Black.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jackson County Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund, Probate Judge’s Office, 67 Athens St., Jefferson, GA 30549.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.
Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, is in charge of arrangements.