Billy Wayne Wilkins

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mr. Billy Wayne Wilkins, 79, of Blytheville, passed away on Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Great River Medical Center. He was born in North Little Rock to William Edward and Margaret Wilkins on March 21, 1938. He obtained his GED while serving in the U.S. Army. Four of his five brothers also served in the military and two of them were prisoners of war.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Blytheville, and a former Sessions member. He was also a former member of the American Legion, the Eagles Lodge and the Lions Club.

Mr. Wilkins spent his life in the food industry, both wholesale and retail. His most recent job was with Hays Grocery in Blytheville. He enjoyed being around people and liked giving parties. He was great at grilling steaks and entertaining a crowd. In 1999, he won the “Backyard Barbeque” award in Cape Girardeau. The television weatherman came to his house and did the weather from his back yard.

He loved decorating for Christmas. He won the “City of Lights” award four years in a row when living in Cape Girardeau. He started decorating for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, and each year, he added more decorations to his house.

Mr. Wilkins enjoyed watching sports. He was a lifetime Razorback booster, and a loyal Cowboy supporter. He was Jerry Jones’ first boss when Jones was about sixteen. He was especially fond of Peyton Manning and rooted for any team for which Peyton played. He also was an avid Cardinal fan.

He was very fond of his dog, Rocky, who was spoiled rotten. Rocky liked to drink sweet tea, but only if it had ice cubes in it.

Friends say that he always had a smile on his face. He was a very tidy, caring, independent, and sometimes hard-headed man who taught his children to stand up for themselves and to take responsibility for their own actions. He was a family man.

He was preceded in death by his parents and five brothers, Raymond, Robert, William Edward, Jr., James (Jimmy) and Ted.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Janice Bennett Wilkins of Blytheville;

Three sons, Mark Wayne Wilkins, of Lake Lure, N.C., Billy Keith Wilkins of Maumelle and Geoffrey Bennett Fields of Fredericktown, Mo.;

Eleven grandchildren, Christopher, Courtney, Bree, Trinity, Caleb, Ashelyn, Marissa, Kaidence, Mollie, Brooklyn and Temperance;

Six great-grandchildren;

Two sisters, Dewana Casavechia of North Little Rock and Barbara Gregg of Scott, Ark.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Carney Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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