Julius Wilkerson, Founder and Executive Director of the Velocity Foundation, was born to the late Julius Wilkerson Sr. and Ceola Butler Wilkerson on March 8, 1941 in New Orleans, LA. Julius, affectionately known to his family and friends as June and/or Moon, attended and graduated from Walter L Cohen High School in the late 1950s where he met and married MaryBelle Bergeron and fathered two children, Yvette Wilkerson-Rivarde and the late Dwayne Anthony Wilkerson. He also fathered Darnell Wilkerson Lee, Eboni Magee and Kaleb Wilkerson. In 1979, Julius married the late Bettye Harrell Wilkerson and from this union was born Julius Allen Wilkerson in 1984. Julius earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from Mercer University in June 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from college, he worked alongside Bing Carter in the Oscar Carter Drug Rehabilitation Program in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Following that, he created and developed the "Drug Free Zone" program. Wilkerson gained national recognition for this creation and implementation with the concept of the anonymous telephone Hotline #number#. Moon had presence throughout the City of New Orleans and the national philanthropic communities with the inception of his beloved Velocity Foundation, Inc. in 1988. Julius was a life long member of Historic Second Baptist Church, a member of its Pastor's Anniversary Committee as well as being a deacon of the church. He also stepped with the notorious New Orleans Young Men Olympians. A few more attributes of the legacies Mr. Wilkerson leaves behind is his advocacy for youth and families detouring the cycle of violence in non-traditional settings, outstanding substance abuse interventionist & educator, a guru of community mobility and creator of programmatic curriculums that saved lives near and far. Julius also authored "Yes We Can Save Our Children,' a book based around violence prevention and substance abuse programs. Julius "Moon" Wilkerson additionally worked alongside his childhood friend and promoter, Don C Hubbard as well as the world-renowned Mackie Shilstone, trainer and nutritionist for the former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Michael Spinks. Julius Wilkerson is preceded in death by his parents, Julius Wilkerson Sr. and Ceola Butler Wilkerson, his brother, Morris Wilkerson, his eldest son, Dwayne Anthony Wilkerson, and his wife, Bettye Joyce Harrell Wilkerson. He leaves to mourn his legacy, his sister, Sandra Jewel Wilkerson, daughters, Yvette Wilkerson-Rivarde & Eboni Magee, sons, Darnell Wilkerson Lee, Julius Allen Wilkerson and Kaleb Wilkerson, grandchildren Joy, Jill, Jade & Janee', Tonia (Larry), Dwayne, Crystal (Edward), Martrell, Dwana (Ian Sr) & Marion, Donisha, Donnie Sr, Donreion, Darnell Jr & Danyell, Synai, Terrance & Elija and Kaleb Jr. Great-grandchildren Jai, Quency, Ajia, Jace, Zya, Yiren, Romi, Rori & Reign, Rashaad, Aniya, Myranda, Alton III, Avery, Ian Jr, Ashton, Liam, & Evan, Ronald, Romalis, Donnie Jr, Dontae, Dewayne, Desmond and Davaya, godchildren, Anatasia Jones, Mack Terrance, devoted friends Don C Hubbard, Walter Ross, Marilyn Ross-Butler & Jeanne Washington and his loving dog Seigel along with a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend a Funeral Service at Historic 2nd Baptist Church, 2505 Marengo Street on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 10:00 am. Visitation will begin at 8:00 am. Interment: Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements by D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Avenue. Please visit www.rhodesfuneral.com
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Published by The Times-Picayune from Jul. 21 to Jul. 24, 2021.