Donald Frank Wilkinson, Sr., 83, of Bellefonte entered into God’s eternal care on Sunday, October 21, 2018, surrounded by his family. Born on March 02, 1935 in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Frank and Ethel Conklin Wilkinson. He was the last member of his immediate family.
Don was a graduate of Philipsburg Area High School, class of 1953. On July 07, 1956, he married the love of his life, Mabel Adams Wilkinson, recently celebrating sixty-two years of marriage.
Also, in 1956 he enlisted in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard serving from 1961 through 1964, in which he served during the Berlin crisis.
Donald was a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics on June 11, 1958. His passion in aviation led him to a distinguished career at the University Park Airport, where he worked for thirty-four years in several capacities, retiring in 1996 as Foreman of Aircraft Operations and Aircraft Maintenance. During his career he earned numerous certificates and awards, most notably the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Mechanic Safety Award in 1969. In addition, he was a FAA licensed pilot, owning several airplanes.
He was a lifelong member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Bellefonte. He had served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Trustee and as a member on the Church Administrative Council.
He is also survived by his loving children: Valerie and husband Larry Bartges, Sr. of Spring Mills, daughter Laurie of Bellefonte, Carol Wilson and husband Herbert Wilson, III of Westminster, Maryland, and Don Wilkinson, Jr. and wife Wanda of Dalmatia, Pa. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Lawrence Bartges Jr, Spencer Bartges, Herbert Wilson, IV, Joshua Wilson, Lindsey Wilson, Jeremy Lesher, Justine Cooper, and Matthew Wilkinson. Also surviving are two great-grandchildren Sarah and Justin Lesher.
The family has requested that memorial contributions may be made in Donald’s memory to Trinity United Methodist Church at 128 W. Howard Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823; American Diabetes Association at 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202, or American Cancer Society at 1375 Martin Street #206, State College, PA 16803.
There will be a public viewing held on Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 6-8pm at Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc. at 206 N. Spring Street, Bellefonte. Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 11am at Trinity United Methodist Church at 128 W. Howard Street, Bellefonte, with Pastor Christopher Passante officiating. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.