MASSENA – William “Wally” Wilkins, 85, a resident of Middlebury Ave, passed away Saturday evening, January 16, 2021 at Canton-Potsdam Hospital from complications of COVID-19.
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Wally was born July 29, 1935 in Massena, the son of the late George and Eva (Martin) Wilkins and attended Massena schools. At the age of 17, he entered the United States Army, later joining the Navy. After his honorable discharge from active duty, he served for many years with both the Army and Navy Reserves. On December 8, 1956, he married Betty J. Yateman at the Massena First United Methodist Church. She predeceased him on November 10, 2014.
Wally first worked for U-Hall and Rich Trucking Company during the construction of the Seaway. He later opened and operated Wilkins Billiards and The Golden Cue in Massena for many years before starting employment at Alcoa, where he worked for 30 years, retiring in 1997 as a press saw operator in the Extrusion Department. As a proud veteran, he was a member of the AMVETS and the VFW in Massena and former member of the Moose Lodge. Wally enjoyed collecting coins, visiting the casino, diners and french fries, and his granddogs. He was an avid Syracuse sports fan and enjoyed gardening – especially his fruit trees. Wally will fondly be remembered by his family and many friends for always having a pocketful of candies that he would always be offering.
Wally is survived by his children, Rickey and Melissa Wilkins of Massena; William Jr. and Karen Wilkins of Massena; and Lori Salazar of Ogdensburg; his grandchildren, Erika O’Geene, Katie, Corey, and Jordan Wilkins, and Cole Salazar; his great grandchildren, Rowan and Colton Wilkins and Elliana and Holden O’Geene; his sister, Kathy and Joe Toth of Frankenbooth, Michigan; his brother, Dennis Wilkins of Port Charlotte, Florida; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, Wally was predeceased by a son, Timothy “Twink” Wilkins on September 23, 2016; his sisters, Donalda Sedlock, Dorothy Eros, and Shirley Clough; and his brother, Leonard “Alkie” Wilkins.
Services will be held privately at the convenience of the family with burial in Pine Grove Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena, where memories and condolences may be made online at www.donaldsonfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may consider memorial contributions to be made in his memory to the Ronald McDonald Houses of either Syracuse or Burlington or the Shriners Children’s Hospital.