Joye Wilkinson of Muskogee died Nov. 2. She was 81.
Visitation will be Monday, November 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N. York St., in Muskogee. A memorial service to remember and to celebrate the life and faith of Joye Wilkinson will be at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Muskogee, 111 South Seventh Street.
Joye was born on January 28, 1932, to Ralph and Gussie Craighead of Buffalo, OK. She was a graduate of Buffalo High School and Oklahoma Baptist University. On July 31, 1953, she married her high school sweetheart, Rex Wilkinson, also of Buffalo. They had been married 60 years at the time of her death.
Nothing brought more delight to Joye than being surrounded by her family, especially welcoming them in her home where she loved to cook their favorite meals, listen to their stories and laugh with them. Despite more than three decades of chronic pain and severe health challenges, Joye lived a life of quite grace, unshakable faith and heartfelt kindness that was inspiration to her family and to all who knew her. She loved children and was a devoted Bible teacher who embodied the love of Jesus she told children about every week in her Sunday school class for more than five decades. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Muskogee, for nearly 40 years.
In addition to her husband, Rex, Joye is survived by a brother and by her five children and their families, including 14 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. They include brother Max (Donna) Craighead, Stillwater, OK; children David (Melanie) Wilkinson, Waco, TX, Michael (Jada Smith) Wilkinson, Aurora, MO; Karen (Roger) Sims, Ratliff City, OK; Kent (Cheryl) Wilkinson, Edmond, OK; and Kevin (Beth) Wilkinson, Bixby, OK; Grandchildren include Joshua (Brandy) Wilkinson, Broken Arrow, OK; Carrie (Eric) Pfrehm, Ardmore, OK; Chris Wilkinson, Hennipin, OK; Micah (Stefani) Wilkinson, Houston, Texas; Shane Wilkinson, Broken Arrow, OK; Meredith Wilkinson, Shelbyville, IN; Ashley (Chad Hansen) Wilkinson, Enid, OK; Michael (Sarah) Wilkinson, Liverpool, NY; Kelsie (Joshua) Silver, Shawnee, OK; Katie Wilkinson, Bixby, OK; Rachel Wilkinson, Norman, OK; Raley Wilkinson, Enid, OK; and Natalie Wilkinson, Bixby, OK. Joye is also survived by great-grandchildren Konner, Audrey, Jessie, Jenna, Scylis, Emma and Eleanor.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial gifts be made to the Children’s Ministry at First Baptist Church, Muskogee.