James William (Bill) Wilkinson
Age 65, was born April 25, 1955, in Roanoke, Virginia, and passed away of natural causes, in September 2020, in Roanoke, Virginia.
Bill worked for Kroger in Roanoke, Virginia, for more than 40 years. After retiring, he studied to become a Master Naturalist and began volunteering with the Roanoke Valley Chapter of the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He specialized in trail building and repair but also helped with numerous beautification projects.
He also worked with the Roanoke Valley MidWeek Crew for two years and logged more than 350 service hours. The numerous projects with which he was involved include the steps from the Parkway to the Roanoke River (known as Fisherman’s Trail) numerous trails at Carvin’s Cove, The Virginia Pine Trail at Mill Mountain, the trail and amphitheater at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, the first leg of the Catawba Greenway and trails at Natural Bridge.
Bill loved the outdoors. He loved running in his youth and enjoyed hiking and walking more recently. He also loved speed – from the Chevy Corvette and Harley Davidson he bought in his twenties to his Ford Lightning he added in his thirties to his most recent acquisition, his white Ford Mustang that he gave to himself as a retirement present – if it had a big engine, could move fast and make a lot of noise it was for him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Howard Wilkinson and Rita Peters Wilkinson. He is survived by a sister, Sue Lockwood Wilkinson Ridder (and her husband, Kevin), their three children, and one grandchild.
A memorial service celebrating Bill’s life will be held 2 pm, Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Hollins Road Church of the Brethren, 2404 Hollins Road, Roanoke.
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