Margaret Wilkinson

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Daily Press
January 9, 2009


Margaret Walton Wilkinson, 83, passed away Jan. 7, 2009.

Born April 24, 1925 in Danville, Va., to the late Erselle J. And Gladys B. Walton. She grew up in Martinsville, Va., but spent many of her childhood summers visiting relatives in the Williamsburg area.

She attended Longwood College and continued her studies at Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary.

In 1945, she married Richard Franklin Wilkinson of Toano, Va. Over her 30 years as a military wife, she guided the growth of her family as they relocated multiple times over three continents. Margaret taught her children the adventure of travel and the love of reading. She shared her joy of cooking with her family and friends.

Margaret will be remembered as a pioneer, at state and local levels, in the fields of education and socialization for people with mental retardation. Her efforts helped foster the first special education classes in the York County Schools. She was a co-founder of The Arc of Greater Williamsburg. The culmination of this lifelong pursuit was the establishment of the Thomas P. Wilkinson Home, Blue Ridge, Va., a residence for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Margaret was a Past President and lifetime member of the Queens Lake Garden Club. She was awarded an honorary membership in the VFGC, Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs.

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Col. (Ret.) Richard F. Wilkinson. She was a loving, caring and supportive mother to her four children, Richard F. Wilkinson Jr. (Kate) of Longview, Texas, Jane W. Raish (Steve) of Allen, Texas, Nancy W. Shafer of Toano, Va., and her special angel, Thomas P. Wilkinson of Blue Ridge, Va. She has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Margaret is also survived by her sister, Nancy W. Fricke of Elk Grove, Calif.; her sister-in-law, Jacqueline S. Wilkinson of Petersburg, Va.; numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, VA. The funeral and burial will be at 11a.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at Hickory Neck Episcopal Church, Toano, Va.

Memorial donations may be made to The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, 202-D Packets Ct., Williamsburg, VA 23185 and to Camp Virginia Jaycee, P.O. Box 648, Blue Ridge, VA 24064.

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