Joseph Thomas Wilkerson, age 69, passed away peacefully in his sleep while on a fishing trip with friends on September 11, 2023. He was born October 24, 1953 in Stockton, California. He was the third of four boys born to Irene (Zetter) Wilkerson and Edwin Wilkerson. Joseph learned the value of faith and hard work from his mother, Irene, and exhibited this in his daily life.
Joseph enrolled in the Army in 1971 and was honorably discharged after serving in Korea and receiving the medals and decorations of: National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea); and Expert (Rifle). Joseph held a variety of occupations during his life, but excelled at sales and spent much of his career at 3 way Chevrolet, prior to retirement.
At age 38 he welcomed his only daughter, Nicole, who was the light of his life. In 2000, when Nicole’s mother fell ill, he became a single parent. He was a dedicated father and worked hard to provide for his family and demonstrate his faith every day. In 2013, Joseph was proudly promoted to the title of “Papa Joe” when his first grandchild, Carter, was born. Joseph beamed with pride and would tell anyone who would listen about how much he loved his daughter and grandson, and how proud of them that he was.
In his free time, Joseph enjoyed watching sports and was an avid fan of the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants. At any time he wasn’t watching the game, you’d likely find him watching one of his favorite old western shows (such as Gunsmoke). Joe also had a passion and skill for cooking and would spend hours doing so. He was proud to show off his skill to guests in his home, and many conversations and laughter was shared around a home cooked meal. He was an avid oldies fan and enjoyed singing along to Elvis. He enjoyed fishing with his grandson or with his friends, a good cigar, and a vodka lemonade.
Joseph was a stubborn, but passionate man. He was never scared to share his opinion, and once he’d made up his mind, he was not going to change it. This stubbornness also applied to his loyalty and dedication to those he loved. He would drop anything he was doing to help a friend or family member, and was loved by many.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Irene Wilkerson, the mother of his child Jacquelyn Robinson, his brother Frederick Wilkerson, his niece Erica Wilkerson, and many friends.
Joseph is survived by his brothers Ed Wilkerson and David Wilkerson and sisters-in-law Mila Wilkerson, Danel Wilkerson, Lori Wilkerson, and Debra Shire. He is also survived by his daughter Nicole Kurczodyna, son-in-law, Seth Kurczodyna, and grandson, Carter Kurczodyna, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at the National Cemetery on September 21 at 10am, followed by a small gathering for close family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, Joseph asks that donations be made to:
Physicians Preferred Hospice
6047 Tampa Ave. 301 Tarzana, CA 91356.