Jesse I. Wilkerson Jr., 80, of Gardner, passed away Oct. 31, 2012, at Olathe Medical Center. A private family graveside service was held 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at Gardner Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com.
Jesse was born May 1, 1932, in Sedalia, Mo., to Jesse I. Sr. and Grace B. (Deuel) Wilkerson. He grew up in Missouri, moved to Kansas City, then to Bronson, Kan., and to Gardner in 1985 to be near family. Jesse married Patricia Mae "Pat" Chance Aug. 5, 1972, in Bronson, Kan. He co-owned and operated the Santa Fe Trail Doll Shop with his wife, Pat. Jesse was an artist and he made and repaired jewelry. He owned the first self-service gas station, Pioneer Oil in Bronson, Kan., where he also served as mayor. He was a member of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, an active liberal Democrat and a ham radio operator "KOGZR."
Jesse was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Dorothy Wilkerson, Laura Thompson and Mildred Wilkerson. He is survived by his wife, Pat, of the home; son, Michael and Christine Wilkerson, Gardner, Kan., and two grandchildren, Jessica and Joshua.