ELON - Mr. Louis Bailey Wilkins, 77, died suddenly on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2012, at UNC Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill.
A longtime resident of Alamance County, Mr. Wilkins was the beloved husband of Beth Miller Wilkins, who survives, and the son of the late Charles Solomon Wilkins and the late Ruth Bray Wilkins.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Wilkins is survived by two sons, Paul André Wilkins and his wife Terry, from St. Stephens, S.C., and Charles L. Wilkins and wife Paula McEachern, of Winston-Salem; and by one daughter, Kristin Pinnix and husband Tony, of Burlington. Mr. Wilkins was most devoted to and proud of his seven grandchildren. His sister, Claire Wilkins, and brother, William Henry Wilkins, also survive.
Mr. Wilkins was born and grew up in Halifax County, Va. While attending the newly consolidated Halifax County High School in South Boston, he became its first student body president. In 1958, he graduated from Elon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Christian education and then taught for eight years at Tarsus American College, in Tarsus, Turkey, where he met his wife, Beth.
Upon his return from Turkey in 1967, Mr. Wilkins earned a master's degree in counseling from UNC Chapel Hill and then continued his career in education. He first taught English at Grimsley High School, Greensboro, then began a long career as a guidance counselor, first at Elon College, then in the Burlington City Schools, working at Williams and Cummings High Schools. He also worked as a guidance counselor at Alamance Community College.
A member of the Elon Community Church (UCC) for more than 40 years, Mr. Wilkins taught Sunday school at all levels, served in many positions of lay service and leadership, and sang in the church choir.
Over his life, Mr. Wilkins was involved with many community organizations, including Meals on Wheels, a local homeless shelter, Loaves & Fishes, Christmas Cheer, the Alamance County Senior Democrats, and PFLAG (Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays). He also served on the Elon Planning Board and the Alamance County Board of Mental Health.
Mr. Wilkins was an avid gardener.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at Elon Community Church (UCC) on Saturday Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. Officiating will be the Rev. Randy Orwig. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall of the church. At other times, the family will be at the residence of the wife, Beth Wilkins, 673 Cable Road, Elon.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to any of the following organizations: Meals on Wheels, 411 W Fifth St., Suite A, Burlington, NC 27215, 336-228-8815; Allied Churches of Alamance County Homeless Shelter, 206 N. Fisher St., or P.O. Box 2581, Burlington, NC 27216, 336-222-0749; Loaves & Fishes Christian Food Ministry Inc., 509 S Lexington Ave., Burlington, NC 27215, 336-570-4668; and Alamance Christmas Cheer, 331 S. Main St., Burlington, NC 27215, 336-229-9969.
Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service in Burlington is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com