Charles Albert “Charlie” Wilkinson, 84, surgeon recognized for his training expertise

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Charles Albert "Charlie" Wilkinson
Charles Albert “Charlie” Wilkinson

WILMINGTON — A life well lived. Charles Albert Wilkinson, son of Charles Tolbert and Ursula Bernstein Wilkinson, died Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, at the age of 84. He was a devoted and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather.

He is survived by Ann Woodall Wilkinson, his wife of 62 years; brothers and their wives, Harold and Alice Speas Wilkinson and Tolbert and Suzanne Tonetti Wilkinson; sons and daughter and their families, James and Ann Adams Wilkinson, and their children Albert, Edward and Frances, Amy and Reginald Blackburn, and their children, Charles and Katherine, and Lewis and Deidra Reedy Wilkinson, and their sons, Reed and Hayes, and his wife, Mindy Miley Wilkinson.

Charlie was born in the town of Wake Forest, N.C., in 1932 and graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest College and from Duke University Medical School. He completed his surgical residency at the UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. Charlie served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force for two years as a flight surgeon.

He practiced surgery for 32 years, including 25 years in Wilmington, N.C. In his professional career, he was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the North Carolina Medical Society, North Carolina Surgical Association and the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society. He was also recognized for his work training medical residents at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Charlie was an active sportsman and enjoyed the outdoors, a love he passed on to his sons, daughter and grandchildren. He was an avid hunter and relished hunting with friends at the North State Game Club, where he was a past president. Charlie spent many days out fishing and boating with family and friends.

He was a member of the Cape Fear Power Squadron and served a term as its commander. Charlie was a member of the Carolina Yacht Club and Cape Fear Country Club. He was an Eagle Scout in a family of Eagle Scouts: Charlie’s father, brothers, sons and a grandson were also Eagle Scouts.

A talented carpenter and woodworker, he crafted furniture in his home workshop, including a beautiful walnut cradle that rocked all his grandchildren. He worked with a carpentry crew at Habitat for Humanity for 15 years and “never missed a Wednesday.” He was a member of the Wilmington Area Woodturners Association, and his wooden bowls and other turnings were treasured gifts.

The family will be at home from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at First Presbyterian Church, 125 South 3rd St., Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401; or Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, 20 North 4th St., Suite 200, Wilmington, NC 28401.

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