Dedicated police officer unwound with nature
Most people remember the burly “Wilkie” Wilkinson in a neatly pressed Air Force or Greensburg city police uniform.His closest friends, however, remember him kicking back with a fishing pole in one hand and a cold brew in the other.
Richard E. “Wilkie” Wilkinson, 65, of Greensburg, died Monday, May 13, 2013, in VA Medical Center in Pittsburgh. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and was a retired Greensburg police officer.
A police officer for 21 years, he eventually earned the rank of captain.
Greensburg police Capt. George Seranko remembers how supportive Mr. Wilkinson was to officers.
“He cared for the people he worked with,” Seranko said. “He would stand behind you or be the first one to stand up for you.”
He was dedicated to the profession, Seranko said, noting that he taught training classes and firearms safety.
Mr. Wilkinson stressed the importance of staying fit and was instrumental in acquiring gym equipment for officers to use in the police station.
“He was very athletic,” said Jerry Todaro, one of his closest friends. “He inspired other officers to work out. They strived to be like him.”
Mr. Wilkinson worked hard serving the city as a police officer, but he longed for annual fishing trips to Canada with the guys, Todaro said.
Each year, a group of friends traveled to a remote part of Northern Ontario to fish for Northern pike and bass. The fishing wasn't always good, but the experience was, Todaro said. The men enjoyed the wildlife, including coming face to face with a bull moose and watching an osprey snatch a fish with its long talons before taking flight.
“You're stressed when you have a job like that, but when you go up there, it's just so nice because there's nothing there,” said Todaro, retired chief of Southwest Greensburg police. “We always had a good time. We hated to leave.”
Even as Mr. Wilkinson's health worsened, Todaro said the two continued to plan local fishing outings because he knew how much Mr. Wilkinson enjoyed time away from the city.
“Lord, there's a true warrior coming to see you,” Todaro said. “I want you to let him in and take care of him.”
Mr. Wilkinson is survived by his daughter, Kim Page, and her husband, Marc, of Rapid City, S.D., and grandson Micah Page.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in Barnhart Funeral Home in Greensburg. General Greene Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 56 will hold a service at 6 p.m. Friday.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am. Saturday in the funeral home, with full military honors accorded by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 33.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Like it or not, Reigns is rising with Royal Rumble win
- Rossi: Crosby’s debt to NHL paid in full
- Penguins’ Fleury surrenders 7 goals in 1 period of NHL All-Star Game loss
- First quarter nightmare for Monessen
- ‘Free’ wine kiosk initiative costs state Liquor Control Board $300K
- Senator opens Connellsville office
- Radioactive radon permeates Western Pennsylvania homes
- Pittsburgh diocese campaign big success
- Breen, North Catholic top West Mifflin
- Bloomfield bookstore owner bucks naysayers
- Serra Catholic’s Sieg learning to lead in senior season