Bertram “Bert” Edwin Wilkins died Oct. 12 in Fruitland, Idaho. He was 85.
A service was conducted Oct. 20 at West Valley Free Methodist Church in Fruitland.
He was born July 24, 1925, in Oakland, Calif., to Burtram and May Wilkins. His father died when he was 13. He took odd jobs until his senior year of high school and then went to work for the Oakland bus system, with his mother, to help support his family while finishing school.
Mr. Wilkins served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he returned to Oakland, got married in 1947 and had a son in 1948.
In 1950, he got divorced and moved the family to Stockton, Calif., where he worked for the railroad for nine years. In 1959, he moved to Grass Valley, with his mother, to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer. A few months later, his sister and her family followed them.
Mr. Wilkins devoted his life to caring for his mother and helping raise his sister’s children.
He retired from the Grass Valley Police Department after 18 years due to a disability and moved to Nevada City. He was devastated when his mother died in 1975.
In 1980, Mr. Wilkins moved to Idaho to be closer to his niece and her family. She and her children moved into his home in 1990, and he helped raise her children, and then grandchildren. At 65, he adopted his niece’s youngest daughter, becoming a daddy again.
He also enjoyed the company of his pets.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Mr. Wilkins is survived by his daughter, Jewell Wilkins (Glenn Stemmer); niece and caregiver, Carol Carter; grandniece, Jeannie (Matt) Reynolds and children, Karson Carter, Haylie Reynolds, Amber (Mike) Bolley, and expected great-great-grandniece or nephew; nephew Lonnie Hoffman; grandnephew, Robert (Laura) Carter and child, Alicen; and adopted niece, Wendy (Jerry) Lopez and family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Burt and May; sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Ray Hoffman; brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Nita Wilkins; son, Daryl Wilkins; and nephews, Steven and Robin Hoffman.
The family would like to thank Dr. Cabrera and her staff, the staff at Presbyterian Community Care Center, and St. Alphonsus for their care of Mr. Wilkins.
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