Sam T. Wilkes passed away peacefully on July 18, 2022, at the Veterans’ Home in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He was 95.
Sam was born in Piaov, Mississippi and grew up in Petal. He joined the Navy during World War II and served aboard the U.S.S. New York. He ended his minority cruise as a SeaBee on Guam. He returned to Petal and finished high school, then attended Southern Mississippi for his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees. He taught and worked in administration in Moss Point, Mississippi. He was an Eagle Scout and served as Scoutmaster for many years there. From Moss Point he went to Auburn University to complete his doctoral studies, then to Mississippi State to research and teach. He was a Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at Mississippi State University.
An avid baseball fan, Sam made friends easily and treasured each one. His friends will remember him as a scholar and a gentleman, though some thought him a rogue. Sam regularly attended the College World Series, and his Omaha friends were family. He treasured his relationships with former students and colleagues as well.
Survivors include his wife, Rebecca Love Wilkes, his sons, Byron Wilkes and Maloy Wilkes of San Francisco Bay Area, California, Stanley Wilkes of Artesia, and grandsons Sam T. Wilkes II and Scott Wilkes, both of Starkville.
Being very quotable, among Sam’s most beloved quotes is “Somewhere between the city and the countryside, we find ourselves.”
The service was held at the Veterans Cemetery in Kilmichael on Friday, July 22 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation was Thursday, July 21, from 4 to 6 at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville. Pallbearers were Dan Moreland, Kenny Malone, Sam T. Wilkes II, Scott Wilkes, Rodney Faver and Cliff Davis.
You can leave the family a condolence at: www.welchfuneralhomes.com.