Cover photo for Steven  R. Wilkinson's Obituary
Steven  R. Wilkinson Profile Photo
1951 Steven 2019

Steven R. Wilkinson

October 30, 1951 — April 10, 2019

With his family by his side, Steve Wilkinson found no greater joy. He was a hardworking man and provided well for those entrusted to his care. Steve was loved abundantly, and in return, he loved those closest to him unconditionally. He possessed a kind and considerate nature and was always thinking of others before himself. With his faith, Steve led by the way of example, and for these things and so much more, he will be deeply missed.

Conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed, and the American dream was surely being realized. Indeed it was a time of change and this was especially true for Robert C. and Mary Elaine (Bowser) Wilkinson when on October 30, 1951, they celebrated the birth of their little boy, Steven Robert.

Steve was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana but relocated to Columbia City as a young child. He grew up alongside his brother Terry and was later joined by their sister Rhonda. A boy typical of his generation, Steve enjoyed sports, playing basketball and football during his youth. Steve especially liked visiting the various lakes to go fishing and swimming. Each summer his parents rented cabins along the lakeshore where his family made numerous memories. This tradition continued later in Steve's life when he came to have a family of his own.

Steve competed on his local high school basketball and football teams. From his earliest years, Steve's strong work ethic was evident. With his desire to have a car and eventually a motorcycle, Steve knew it would take hard work and setting a fine line within his priorities. It was then when Steve chose to get a job and work for the things he strived for rather than continue on in school sports before graduating from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1970.

The course of Steve's life was forever changed when he met and fell deeply in love with a neighbor girl, Betty Coy. The two dated for four years and on August 31, 1974, they were happily married at Zion Lutheran Church where they became involved and faithful members over the following 44 years. Children soon became a part of their household with the births of Nathan, Jared, Stephanie, and Myra. Together, Steve and Betty made a good and loving home for their family all while creating wonderful memories along the way.

Steve loved nothing more than spending time with his family. He never missed an opportunity to attend and event that his children were involved in, ranging from dance recitals to sporting events. Special memories were always made on vacations. During spring break, he would often take his family to Florida to visit his parents and make a trips to Disney World. Memorable times were always shared and enjoyed during the summers when they'd rent a lake cottage and just simply enjoy their time together. The holidays and other special occasions always brought Steve's family together which made him the happiest, particularly after grandchildren came to win the hearts of Steve and Betty.

Following 36 years of service, Steve retired from Dana in 2008 which gave him more time for the things he loved. He enjoyed bass fishing and participating in bass tournaments. The slot machines at the casinos always had a ready seat for Steve, and at home he found peace and contentment in feeding the birds and tending to his flower garden. Steve could spend hours playing Xbox and gaming over the internet with his son-in-law, Matt and his dad, Roger.

More than anything, Steve loved his grandchildren and playing with them at every opportunity. He had a servant's heart and his thoughtful consideration of those around him, family or friend, was to be admired. Known to give some of the best advice, Steve was considered wise and always offered a solid, new perspective on things. Gone yet never to be forgotten, the memory of Steve lives on in the hearts of those who knew him best.

Steven R. Wilkinson, 67, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away Wednesday evening, April 10, 2019, at Lutheran Hospital. He is survived by his loving wife, Betty Wilkinson; children, Nathan (Michelle) Wilkinson of Texas, Jared (Katie) Wilkinson of Columbia City, Stephanie (Robert) Coffin of Plainfield and Myra (Matt) Hartman of Columbia City; sister, Rhonda (Robert) Happ, of Fort Wayne; brother, Terry (Kathy) Wilkinson of Huntington; and by his ten grandchildren. Steve was preceded in death by his parents and by an infant grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 15, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church, 101 E. North St, Columbia City with a gathering of family and friends from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. Pastor Phil Rittner will officiate. Burial will follow at Oak Grove (Compton) Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Steve's memory to Zion Lutheran Church. Please visit to share a favorite memory of Steve or to send his family online condolences.


Zion Lutheran Church
Columbia City Columbia City, Indiana 46725

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Zion Lutheran Church
Columbia City Columbia City, Indiana 46725

11:00 AM
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