Robert W. "Bob" Wilkins(July 5, 1924 - May 25, 2013)



Lifelong Port Angeles resident Bob Wilkins passed away on May 25, 2013, at Crestwood Convalescent Center.

He was born in Port Angeles on July 5, 1924, to Robert W. Wilkins and Edna (Danielson-Smith) Wilkins. He was raised by his paternal grandmother and stepgrandfather, Emma and Frank Foy.

He attended Washington School and Roosevelt High School, leaving at 17 to join the U.S. Navy.

Bob served for four years and the duration of the war on the USS Wake Island, an aircraft carrier. While on the ship, he traveled the world, ending up in the Pacific, where, just a few decks below him, the Wake Island took a hit in the starboard bow by an exploding kamikaze at Okinawa.

After he was honorably discharged from the Navy, Bob worked for Foss Tugs for several years. After leaving Foss, he worked as a boom man on the Pysht River for approximately 10 years. When he left Pysht, he worked for the Port of Port Angeles as a boom man, where he retired.

During his life, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, chopping wood and watching football, rooting for his Seattle Seahawks. He also enjoyed watching old Western and war movies.

Dad always loved helping others; one time, he literally took the coat off his back to give to a hitchhiker in the snow.

Dad achieved most of the things on his "bucket list," many through travel.

He went to his only Wilkins family reunion in New York and met many of his cousins, aunts and uncles.

Later, he went to Branson, Missouri, to the USS Wake Island reunion and saw some of his former shipmates. This reunion connected him with his long-lost good friend Fred "Uncle Red" Schroder. He went to Florida to visit Uncle Red for two weeks.

One of his favorite trips was to Pearl Harbor "to see the beach without barbed wire and guns on it," and to pay tribute to two friends still on the Arizona.

He celebrated his 80th birthday by flying in a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress and loved it.

Dad especially enjoyed the summer "circle of friends" at his place. Chairs were placed in a big circle, and neighbors, friends and family would come over to visit and "have a beer with Bob-o," the nickname given to him by his son-in-law. His friend and cousin, Harry "Boone" Garbor, was over almost every day, and between the two of them, everyone learned a lot of the history of Port Angeles and our families.

Bob was a member of the Eagles, a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and past governor of the Port Angeles Moose Lodge No. 996 in the 1960s.

Bob enjoyed going on several bowling tournaments in Reno and Las Vegas. After his first stroke, in his wheelchair, he continued his yearly trips to Reno with his daughter, Kris, and "adopted" daughter, Janet.

It was after his second stroke on the plane just out of Reno that the trips had to stop, much to his regret.

Bob lived for 19 years with daughter and son-in-law Kris and Del Cadwallader before going to Crestwood Convalescent Center on June 4, 2012.

Special thanks to Dr. Dan Addison and his staff for taking such good care of Dad; he always loved going to see Dr. Dan and "Dad's Girls."

More thanks go to a special friend and support system who was always there, "adopted daughter" Janet Gallauher. Janet was a godsend right up to the very end at the hospital and at Crestwood.

Thank you so much, Janet! Dad loved you like his own daughter.

Another special thank-you goes to Colleen Winn, another support system, who helped so much.

We couldn't have done it without you.

Dad loved when Colleen was near. She took him on rides to the Dungeness Spit and to other places, and they looked for deer and other animals. She took him out for meals and was always there for him.

Last but not least, a golden thank-you to all the nurses, aides and other staff at Crestwood.

You were all so awesome to Dad. You understood and loved him as he did you. Words cannot thank you enough for everything you did for Dad.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents and his sister, Peggy.

He is survived by three children, Kris (Del), Kathy and Tom (Tian); five grandchildren, Lori, Kari, Erik, Ryan and Jennifer; many great-grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews. His is also survived by his companion and cat, Tinker.

As per his request, any memorial contributions can be made to the Captain Joseph House through Betsy Reed Schultz, 1108 South Oak Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or to the .

We love you, Dad/Bob-o

— Kristy and Del

Published in The Peninsula Daily News on June 16, 2013