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Earl “Jay” Wilkie

Earl “Jay” Wilkie, 73, is now “Free At Last”, he passed away on Sunday, June 26, 2011 in Lakeview from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Jay was born Jan. 15, 1938 in Lakeview to Leo and Frances Wilkie. He graduated from Lakeview High School with the class of 57 and attended OIT for a short time, while working for TP Packing in Klamath Falls. Jay was drafted into the Army in August of 1961 and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. He spent his entire two years at Fort Carson and was head cook for the Officers Headquarters.
In 1958, he married Melva Jean Anderson in Lakeview. They were married for 53 years, spending most of their married life in Lakeview with a few years in Klamath Falls and Colorado Springs, Colo.
After serving in the military they returned to Lakeview, where he worked for his father, Leo Wilkie at the Union Oil Bulk Plant, later he purchased the business and worked it until 1972. At that time both Jay and Melva set out to develop the first mobile home park in Lakeview, Western Villa Mobile Home Park, along with a Mobile Home Sales Lot. In 1985 Jay was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, which soon left him unable to set up and service the homes, so the sales lot was sold, but they continued with the mobile home park until 1995, when they retired to the Westside of Lakeview, not far from where Jay was raised during his teen years. They were able to spend a few winters in Arizona in their RV before Parkinson’s made him unable to travel.
Jay was a member of the Lake County Desert Cruisers. He restored several 1957 Chevys from the frame up in which he proudly showed at local and out of town car shows. He also enjoyed racing cars and had three different drag cars, one of which he built. Before his illness he was active with the Warner Mtn. Ski Patrol and helped install the towers on the ski hill for the first T bar. Jay loved hunting, fishing, camping and yard work. Jay also was very close to all his 1957 classmates.
Jay suffered for more than 26 years with Parkinson’s Disease. Although this is a tragic disease he never gave up hope that someday a cure would be found, and of course he thought he would return to his 40’s. No doubt his determination kept him going far longer than the normal life with this disease.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Larry Wilkie; granddaughter Jessica Marshall; great-grandson Rance Sykes.
Survivors include his wife Melva of Lakeview; son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Renee Wilkie of Medford; daughter and son-in-law Kim and Gabe Cobian of Lakeview; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Tony and Janice Yates; grandchildren Shara Mantovani of Lakeview, Cassie Marshall of Prineville, Matthew Wilkie of Carson City, Nev., Markie and JC Sykes of Susanville, Calif. and Jason Wilkie of Carson City, Nev.; great-grandchildren Chase, Emma, Lilly, Dalley and Dominick; numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the Lakeview First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Dan St. Clair officiating. Jay’s final resting place will be in the Westside Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Northwest Parkinson Foundation, P.O. Box 56, Mercer Island, Wash. 98040 or to the charities of the donor’s choice.
Desert Rose Funeral Chapel has charge of the arrangements.

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