Elree J. Wilkinson, of Friendswood, passed away on Friday, December 29, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Elree was born on October 30, 1931 in Hollis, Oklahoma. He was the son of Clarence and Leona Wilkinson.
Elree struck out on his own at the young age of 17 and joined the Navy. He served his country bravely and then moved to Lubbock, Texas, where he worked with his cousin in a restaurant venture and met his soon-to-be wife, Theoda Robinson. He attended Texas Tech University and received his degree in Physics in a record setting 2 ½ years.
Elree then moved to China Lake, California to work for the Defense Department. His contributions while he was there included designing missile systems, and in fact he was given an award for one, stating “Ree Wilkinson – The Father of the SW-IE RDV” (sidewinder).
Elree then moved his family to the Houston area (Friendswood) to start his career with NASA. His devotion to NASA and the pursuit of space and technology made his career complete. Over his 30 year Nasa career, many astronauts were proud to be his colleague and friend. But even with all that, he saved time to coach his children in football leagues and baseball, as well. Elree Wilkinson was a unique family Christian man that will be greatly missed.
Elree was preceded in death by his parents and his oldest son, Mark.
He is survived by his loving wife, Theoda; daughter, Gina and husband Billy; son Mike and wife Lali; and grandchildren, Kyra and Tyler.
Friends are cordially invited to attend a visitation with the family at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at Jeter Memorial Funeral Home, 311 N. Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, TX 77546, (281) 992-7200, with the funeral service to follow at 11:00 A.M. with Pastor Frank Possert officiating. Interment will be at Forest Park East Cemetery in Webster.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you send donations to Calvary Houston, 3700 FM 528, Friendswood, TX 77546.
Condolences may be sent to the Wilkinson family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.