Nature 29

Julius "Bill" William Wilkerson

December 14, 1943 ~ December 23, 2020 (age 77)


Julius “Bill” Wilkerson, 77, of Newberg, Oregon died peacefully on December 23, 2020. Julius hailed from Waukegan, Illinois and pioneered his way to Oregon around 1964 pursuing his love of basketball. That passion landed him at Portland State University where he exhibited a hall of fame worthy performance in just two seasons. In 2004, Julius was inducted into PSU’s Basketball Hall of Fame for scoring more than 1,000 points in two seasons making him the third in all-time scoring at the end of his career. Today he still ranks among the top15. 

After graduating from PSU in 1967, Julius stayed connected to the campus as an Assistant Varsity Basketball coach and took on a new role as the PLUS Program Director. The PLUS program was specifically designed to support Afircan-American student achievement at Portland State. 

Julius continued to pursue his passions and purchased property in Newberg, OR. He was the first person to settle in his area of Chehalem Mountain and aptly named the street after his likeness, Wilkerson Way. In the countryside Julius owned and maintained a Christmas Tree farm, shipping holiday trees all over the world, and trained world-class racing pigeons (out of all the passions, this was the top!). 

If Julius could leave one piece of advice, it would be to follow your dreams, but have a contingency plan. Life is for living on your own terms, so go out there and live your best one yet. 

Julius is preceded in death by his mother, Leora Jean Wilkerson, his father Julius “Jack” Wilkerson, and his daughter, Lisa Wilkerson. He leaves to cherish his memory a sister, Gwendolyn (Ken) Brown Jones of Irving, TX , two daughters Edwina (Tommy) Johnson of O’Fallon, IL and Asha Wilkerson of Oakland, CA, two grandsons Jude Nibo, Jr. of O’Fallon, IL and Avery Byrd, Jr. of Atlanta, GA, his cousin Sharon Brown of North Chicago, IL, a host of nieces and nephews, along with beloved relatives and friends.

At this time there will not be a public memorial service.

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