RINCON, Ga. (WSAV) – Wednesday morning family, friends, and colleagues gathered to pay their final respects to a man who dedicated his life to serving his community.
Corporal James Wilkinson passed away Friday after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
” I’m all the time catching people and try to correct them that say he was, or he did. Say he is, because while the shell has died James is very much alive and well,” Sgt. Ramsey Mannon said.
The spirit that is alive and well belongs to Corporal James Wilkinson. He is a retired Effingham County deputy, a veteran of the United States Navy, and former coast guard.
Loved ones who spoke about Wilkinson say he was a deputies deputy and someone you could look up to.
“He was always helpful, and he was just a good guy,” Sgt. Danny Harrington said.
A good guy and local hero who leaves behind a wife, four children, and four grandchildren. But those who knew him best say he leaves behind so much more.
A personality and antics his brothers in service said they’ll never forget.
” One time it was just me and him and some family walked in, and they were off to the side. All of a sudden Apple Bottom Jeans started playing on his phone and I’m looking at him, and he’s just standing there, and I’m like hit the button,” Harrington said.
Although his family and friends miss him they say they’ll look to his 58 years of life as inspiration.
“His life has been public service. Putting others above himself, and we can learn from a life like that,” Mannon said.
Wilkinson’s family is asking the community to donate to the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, in honor of their loved one.