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Lloyd's Story

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Services for Lloyd J. Wilkins are scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Jones-Walker and Son Funeral Home chapel. Burial will be in Rosemound Cemetery in Commerce with David Gibson, Jerry Speight, and Terry Holley, officiating.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the services.

Lloyd passed away Sept. 15, 2009, in Commerce.

He was born to William David (Dave) and Golda Fannie Hindman Wilkins on Oct. 1, 1915, in the Riley Grove Community near Commerce.

On Oct.24, 1936, he married Bonnie Valera Luna, who preceded him in death after 54 years of marriage.

Lloyd graduated from Commerce High school in 1934. In 1941 he earned his B.S. degree in vocational agriculture from East Texas State Teachers College. During college and after graduation, Lloyd worked on the college farm and continued there until 1946. Lloyd was deferred from serving in World War II because farmers were needed at home.

Due to the fact that Lloyd was such a successful farmer, the State Veterans’ Land Board hired him to teach agriculture to veterans returning from the war. Many of the men or their heirs still farm in the Commerce area.

In 1947 he completed his M.A. from Sam Houston State College with a Smith Hughes Vocational Agriculture Certification. This led to his teaching vocational agriculture at Commerce High School from 1951 until his retirement in 1977. In addition to his teaching duties, he was advisor to the Future Farmers of America and the Young Farmers of Texas.

During his teaching career, he received many achievement awards including Vocational Honorary Chapter Farmer, two awards for distinguished service from Vocational Agriculture Teachers, Vocational State Farmers, and Honorary State Future Farmers. He was also a member of Commerce Classroom Teachers, Texas State Teachers Association, Retired Teachers Association, Vocational Agricultural Association of Texas, Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce.

One of his most cherished memories was when he was presented a plaque by the Commerce High School Tigers for running the athletic clock for 26 years with only one absence, which was due to the birth of his daughter.

He was honored with another plaque from the entire student body for his continuous support of their endeavors. His co-workers and former students remember him for his hard work, sense of humor, twinkling eyes, ready smile, a prayer when the need arose, and his three-foot paddle.

To most men, being a husband, father, teacher, and farmer would be fulfilling enough, but not for Lloyd. God called him to preach. From childhood he attended Riley Grove Congregational Methodist Church, was baptized at age 15 and remained a member there. Lloyd became a licensed preacher in 1950 and was ordained in 1974. He balanced his teaching duties through the week and preaching on Sunday. He and his family traveled many miles and was pastor at Daniel’s Chapel in Naples, Lone Star in Bogata and Liberty in Aubrey. On occasion he also preached at Riley Grove Church in Commerce. During these years he served as president of the North Texas Annual Conference for Congregational Methodists (1974-1984), and 15 years as the president of the district conference. He retired in 1995, but continued to conduct wedding ceremonies (the last of which was his granddaughter’s) and funerals. Lloyd never faltered in his love of God.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Bonnie; a son Lloyd Don; great-granddaughter Megan Fayeth Minter; a sister, Rose Joyce Stinson; niece Ann Stinson Adams; stepson Doug Riddle; stepdaughter Maurine Ansley and brothers-in-law R.D. “Bub” Kinser and Cecil Stinson.

He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Arlene; a sister, Marie Kinser of Commerce; son Gary and wife Toopie of Blossom; daughter Betty Hardman and husband James of Dublin, Ohio, stepdaughter Diane Houghton and husband Chuck of Golden; stepdaughter-in-law Melba Riddle of Mineola; grandson Matt Wilkins and wife Becky of Blossom; granddaughters Ginny Minter and husband Ashley of Detroit, Texas, Brandi White and husband Aaron of Dublin, Ohio, and Brooke Skinnell of Plano; stepgrandsons David Ansley of Royse City, Bobby Riddle and wife Danna of Tennessee, stepgranddaughters Stephanie Joslin and husband Gregg of Royse City, Melissa Hartsell and husband Clay of Longview, and Leah Houghton of Denver, Colo.; four great-grandchildren; seven stepgreat-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Neoma McKinney and Wanda Tate of Oklahoma and Ouida Luna of Garland; special nieces and nephews Wanda Crowell and husband Mike of Commerce and David Stinson and wife JoAnne of Sulphur Springs. Other nephews and nieces include Harold Handke, Teresa Handke, Connie Delno and husband Jeff, Terry Tate and wife Kim, Vicki Mathison and husband Spinner, and Sheri Welch and husband Archie; special friends Mike McCloskey of Tuttle, Okla., and Charles Ansley of Royse City, as well as numerous great- and great-great nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.

Pallbearers are Matt Wilkins, Ashley Minter, Aaron White, Tony Delno, Greg Joslin and Tommy Stailey.Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Rick Selvaggi, Conner John, Alvis Alderman, Charles Wilson, Kenneth Ryan, Tommy Dodd, Randy Manning, Dr. Bill Fowler, David Huffman, Dr. James Conrad, Patti Arrington Doster, Suzanne Kizer Carter, “Little Bit” Johnson Williams and Linzy Harland.

Memorials may be made to the Congregational Methodist Church, Division of Mission Ministry, P.O. Box 9, Florence, Miss. 39073; or Commerce Church of Christ, Mission Ministry, P.O. Box 611, Commerce, Texas 75429.

Visit and sign the guest book at www.jones-walkerandson.com or www.heraldbanner.com.
Published on  September 25, 2009
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