Harvey Jefferson “Pete” Wilkerson, 57, of Gonzales, passed away Thursday, May 10, 2018. Pete was born Oct. 24, 1960 to Walter Columbus “Tubby” Wilkerson and Erma Lee Sharrah Wilkerson. Pete married Patricia Leann May on Feb. 14, 1998 in Gonzales. He was a member of the Gonzales Elks Lodge #2413 and the Gonzales First United Methodist Church.
Pete was born and raised in Gonzales. He was an active Little League baseball player and played in the Babe Ruth 16 - 18 year old World Series twice. He was a standout running back for the Gonzales Apache football team where he established school records in rushing. He was also a successful competitor in throwing the discus for the Apache track team and was a celebrated catcher for the Apache baseball team.
After graduating with the Gonzales High School Class of 1979, Pete went on to play baseball for Bee Junior College. He advanced to play baseball in the minor leagues where he played alongside many Major League Baseball prospects. Pete was the catcher for many good pitchers, most notably Fernando “El Toro” Valenzuela who later pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After baseball, Pete worked 24 years at GVEC. He and his wife Leann have owned and operated “Boomers” for the last 14 years. Pete enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing dominoes. Fishing and dominoes remained a passion of his to this day. He loved to work in his garden and can his produce. He was an excellent cook and his barbecued steaks and gizzard stew are legendary.
He watched sports on the television, but more than anything, Pete loved to watch his sons play ball. He was proud watching Clayton play left tackle for the Apache offense and was very proud of his son playing for the University of Texas Longhorn Band. His pride for Trenton was equally emboldened watching him play defensive tackle for the Apache football team. He knew the game very well and often encouraged his sons by highlighting the things they did well on the field and identifying things they could work on to be better. Pete loved his family and treasured making memories in their life’s journey, memories that cannot replace the man, but will live on in their hearts forever.
Pete believed in giving back. He gave back to his community and was generous to a fault with his friends. Pete had a huge heart for those in need and he made time for folks less fortunate. He was many things to many people, most of all, Pete was a loving husband, father, brother and friend.
Pete is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Leann Wilkerson of Gonzales; adoring sons, Clayton Jefferson Pete Wilkerson of Austin and Trenton William Walter Wilkerson of Gonzales; sisters, Patricia Newton (Calvin) and JoAnn Atwell, all of Van Buren, Ark.; brothers, John Henry Wilkerson (Susan), Harlan Wilkerson and his friend, Brenda Hodge and his father-in-law, Bill May all of Gonzales, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Janice Tindell and Linda Tindell; brother, William Claude Tindell and mother-in-law, Dean May.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 19 in the First United Methodist Church with Pastor Matt Pennington officiating. Honorary pallbearers are the Friends of Boomer’s. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 - 2 p.m. prior to the services. In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to the Gonzales Little League Assn., the Apache Booster Club or the First United Methodist Church.
Friends may leave their condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com. Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.