Steven E. WilkesAugust 8, 1969 ~ October 27, 2017 (age 48)
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him" James 1:12
Steven Eugene Wilkes, 48, went to be with the Lord peacefully in the arms of his wife, Suzenna Wilkes, at his home in Sicklerville, New Jersey on Friday October 27, 2017.
He is survived and celebrated by his beloved wife Suzenna Wilkes (nee Jose). He is also survived by his loving parents Eric Wright and Gertrude Wright (nee Gundy), his children Devante Wilson, Christian Wilson, Steven Wilkes Jr, Taegan Wilkes, and Sebastian Wilkes, his siblings Angela Wright (nee Gundy), Storm, Joy Owes, Donna Wright and Erica Wright.
Steve was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 8, 1969, to Gertrude Eunica Wilkes (nee Gundy) and Sandy Ulysses Wilkes. His childhood was spent in the Nicetown area of Philadelphia. His early education was at Fox Chase Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School. He then went on to attend Northeast High School and graduated in 1987.
His first job out of high school was at the First Pennsylvania Bank, now Wells Fargo, as a check clearance operator. Inspired by his strong desire to serve his country, Steve enlisted in the United States Navy in 1988 and served during the Gulf War as a Hospital Corpsman. Upon his return, he enrolled in Temple University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. He graduated with his degree in 1996. His first job as a nurse was at the Bala Nursing Home in Pennsylvania in 1996. As a young nurse, he quickly rose to the role of a Manager here. Steve’s passion to care for people and hunger to learn lead him to work in the areas prominent hospitals including Hahnemann University Hospital, Temple University Hospital, Albert Einstein Hospital, Jefferson University Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Cooper University Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He worked in numerous specialties, but his two favorites were Trauma and Cardiothoracic Surgery. He was a wealth of knowledge and was loved by both is colleagues and patients alike. To Steve, caring for someone was seen as nothing short of an honor and privilege. It was something that came naturally to him. Apart from being a nurse, Steve was a shrewd businessman who was in the business of real estate.
Steve was a devoted Christian and loved by many. It was his charisma and spontaneity that helped him win over people early on life, and they would later become lifelong friends. Steve knew a lot of people; according to his wife, “there wasn’t a time Steve and I would step out the house and not run into someone he knew”. Steve was the "father" of the family, always putting everyone before him and making sure everyone else’s needs were met before his. He always had a way of bringing people together through his famous parties and cookouts. He loved food and cooking. His favorite meal was his pop’s famous Jerk Chicken. Steve loved a long run and loved listening to music – his music library had songs dating back to the 1920s and he knew every single one of them. He enjoyed sitting quietly in his backyard with his wife, in amazement of God’s handiwork. He loved family gatherings; sitting and reminiscing with his friends and laughing
He was known to light up every room he walked into. His kind heart and gregariousness were his hallmarks. Steve’s thoughtful advice and counsel encouraged his loved ones to always better themselves and others. He was hardworking, compassionate and loyal. Steve was a loving man, who loved his family the most.
In 2011 that he met his wife, Suzenna Wilkes while working at Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He had told his brother that he found his “dream girl”. Steve proposed to Suzenna in May of 2013 and they later married on July 10, 2014. They soon found out they were expecting their first child, a son. It was a week later that Steve was given the diagnosis of Stage IV Pancreatic cancer. He was given six to nine months to live. Steve did what he knew best, which was to face the fight head on and give it everything he had. He fought his battle long and hard with God by his side. He beat the statistics of the disease. In the end, he won. He won by pure love, grace and unswerving faith. Not cancer. He won by leaving this earth and moving on to be in the presence of his Maker. He was a survivor.
Relatives and Friends are invited to celebrate the exceptional life of Steven Eugene Wilkes at his Memorial Service on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 10:30am at St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2167 74th Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19138.
NO VIEWING OR VISITATION PERIOD ON FRIDAY. MEMORIAL SERVICE ONLY.
Interment with Military Honors to be held at Ivy Hill Cemetery, 1201 Easton Road, Philadelphia, PA 19150.
Repast to follow at H & H Banquet Hall, 2036 E. Haines Street, Philadelphia, PA 19138.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Steven Wilkes to: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Donations may be made online at www.pancan.org/donate
Or by mail to
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Checks can be made payable to “Pancreatic Cancer Action Network”. Please include a note that the donation is being made in honor of Steven Wilkes.
PARKING AVAILABLE IN "THE END HALF ONLY" at the RITE AID PHARMACY at OGONTZ & 74th Ave.