Robert Dean Wilkes passed away peacefully in his home on the evening of Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

He was a lifelong resident of Jackson County. He was the eldest son of Cecil and Pauline Wilkes. He was married to his wife, Viola Marie Michaud for over 50 years. He was preceded in death by his wife; mother and father; his brothers, Claude and Alton Wilkes; and his sister, Brenda Wilkes.

The rolling hills of Georgia, the serenity, peacefulness, and the melodious sounds of nature is a wonderful blessing. Dean always felt that this area was the most beautiful of anywhere in the world. He loved nature and spent time out in it as much as possible. He had a green thumb and was known for his beautiful Knockout Roses which were featured in The Jackson Herald.

He was born June 24, 1941 in a natural log cabin on his granddaddy’s farm in the Brockton community. Later his family moved to the Redstone community. This is where he grew up on a farm where he learned the value of hard work.

He attended Jefferson High School. Later, he enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1962. Initially, he was stationed in Maine where he met Viola Marie Michaud whom he would later marry. In 1965, he received an honorable discharge, married Viola and started a family in the community he had grown up in.

Employed by Westinghouse in 1965, he held various positions. He was sent to advanced schools by Westinghouse for management and supervisory at the University of Georgia and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He was promoted to foreman in 1970 and to first line supervisor in 1971.

In 1975 he answered his true calling and began his lifelong career of law enforcement. He joined the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, serving the people of his hometown. He filled several positions including road deputy in the fall of 1975. He also attended the Police Academy. Upon completion of the Academy, he was assigned to the Felony Warrant Division and also the Field Training Officer (FTO) poisition for the department.

During his career in law enforcement, other specialized training included: homicide, burglary, investigation, explosives and crime scene. During his law enforcement career, he held various ranks from CPL to Captain, Jail Administrator to Chief Deputy when the Sheriff was out and away from the department. Later on, he went to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department. He served there until his retirement as the classification director.

He was a long-time attender of First Baptist Church of Jefferson. He loved his church family. Special thanks to Tom Bledsoe, Fred Gurley, Andy Garrison and Melvin Porter.

Graveside service: Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the Bethany United Methodist Church Cemetery with Dr. Michael Helms officiating. The family will receive friends at the graveside. Gentleman honored as pallbearers are Tom Bledsoe, Andy Garrison, Fred Gurley and Melvin Porter.

He is survived by his daughters, Sherry Shepherd and her husband Ross, Hull, and Deanna Poole and her husband Chris, Jefferson; grandchildren, John Shepherd, Stella Poole, Josiah Poole and Timothy Poole also survive.

Special thanks to the caregiver and family friend Pam Nerber, Bridgeway Hospice of Athens, Jacob Buffington and Visiting Angels of Athens, and the team of caregivers, Tynesia Berry, Temica Carter, Octavia Creamer and Erica Thornton.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial gifts to the Bridgeway Hospice of Athens, 1551 Jennings Mill Road, Suite 2400 B, Watkinsville, Ga. 30677, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes
, Attention: Development Division, P.O. Box 1000, Stockbridge, Ga. 30281, or the First Baptist Church of Jefferson Food Bank, P.O. Box 395, Jefferson, Ga. 30549.

Evans Funeral Home, 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Ga. 30549, 706-367-5467. Online condolences at www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com.

Published by MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Week of November 22-28

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