John Richard “Dick” Wilkins, 92, of Rutherfordton died on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
Dick was the late son of Earl H. Wilkins and Mary Sue Browning Wilkins. He spent his early
childhood in Greensboro, NC, and graduated from Woodbury Forest School in Orange,VA. He
received a BA in Textiles from NC State University. Dick’s early career was with Burlington
Industries in Greensboro, New York City, where he met his wife, Martha of 57 years, and then
Mexico City. He finished his career with Tanner Companies in Rutherfordton, where he worked
for 29 years, and made lifelong friends.
Dick was a dedicated member of St. Francis Episcopal Church. He believed in giving back to
his community, and genuinely enjoyed helping people, quietly, as well as by serving on boards
or volunteering. He supported the Red Cross, Kidsenses, Community Foundation of Western
NC, Habitat for Humanity, and Mediation for the Rutherfordton Court House. Outside of family
and community, he enjoyed traveling and hiking all over Europe with a special group of friends.
Dick was an intelligent, fiercely independent, loyal and generous person. He was a
consummate gentleman well known for his kindness, integrity, and sense of humor.
He is survived by sons,Tim Wilkins and wife Phyllis of Portland, ME, granddaughters, Alexandra
Turnbull and husband Jake of Portland, ME and great grandson Luca Turnbull, and Olivia
Wilkins and fiancé Andrew Leone of Quincy, MA; and Chris Wilkins and wife Lisa of Charlotte,
NC, granddaughters Kayla and Emma Wilkins; and daughter Robin Holtz and husband Drew of
Dick was predeceased by his wife Martha Baker Wilkins and his son, Lawrence Baker Wilkins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Francis Episcopal Church, 395 North Main St.,
Rutherfordton; or Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 1534, Rutherfordton; or
American Red Cross Rutherford Chapter, 838 Oakland Rd., Forest City.
The family will plan a Memorial Service and Internment at a later date. McMahan’s Funeral
Home is serving the family.
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