WILKES-BARRE — Joseph Carl Wilkie, 85, of Wilkes-Barre, passed away on July 21, 2017, at Celtic Hospice.
Born April 4, 1932, in Wilkes-Barre, he was a son of the late Harry L. and Margaret (Weiner) Wilkie. A graduate of G.A.R. Memorial High School, Joe continued his education at Kings’ College.
A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict, he later served more than 30 years with the reserves in the Pennsylvania National Guard, 109th Infantry and retired as Platoon Sergeant in 1992.
Joe worked for A&P Markets and Auto World before taking a position with Bronsbug & Hughes. He retired from Wyoming Valley Motors as a parts manager.
A member of the Sports Car Club of America since 1959, Joe held several positions, including regional executive, treasurer, activities director and secretary of the northeast division. In the early years of his racing career, he participated in road rallies and gymkhanas, then moved on to hill climbs and road racing.
He started racing in an MGA and purchased his first Formula Ford car in 1970. He raced that car until 1981 when he moved on to a 1981 Van Diemen RF81 Formula Ford. When his racing career ended, he became the announcer for the Giant’s Despair and Weatherly hill climbs.
Brothers, Harry, Robert, Jerry, Alan and Tom Wilkie; and a sister, Judy Nealon, preceded him in death.
Joe will be greatly missed by his wife, the former Damaris “Dee” Spayder; daughter, Beth Ann Ritz; granddaughter, Jessica and her husband, Patrick Cawley; great-grandchildren, Alexis, Aiden and another great-granddaughter due in September; sisters, Margaret Wilkie and Karen McManus; brother-in-law, Joseph and his wife, Janice Spayder; nieces, nephews, other family and many lifelong friends.
Celebration of Joe’s life will begin with visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at McLaughlin’s, 142 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre and continue there with a gathering at 10 a.m. on Thursday, followed by services at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be in Saint Mary’s Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared with Joe’s family at www.celebratehislife.com.
Published in Times Leader from July 23 to July 24, 2017