Jerry Lynn Wilkins

December 18, 1973 - March 21, 2024
Jerry Lynn Wilkins

Memorial Gifts & Donations

It is with unbearable sadness that we mourn the passing of Jerry L. Wilkins, 50. He died suddenly of a heart attack on March 21st while in Boone, NC with his college friends on their annual mountain trip. He died surrounded by the men who loved him like a brother in a place he could not wait to be every March.

Jerry was one of those rare souls who made everyone feel seen and important. He loved fiercely and if you were lucky enough to be one of “his people,” he was a blanket of protection, guidance, and unconditional love. So many used him as a sounding board and source of wisdom, and his loss will leave a massive hole in more lives than he could have imagined.

Jerry graduated from Cape Fear Academy, then UNC Chapel Hill, and finally Campbell Law School. He cherished education, loved his schools, and remained active in each of his alma maters. The friendships he developed in each became his foundational friendships for life. He remained in touch with classmates decades upon decades later. He was determined to give his daughters that same quality of education and opportunity for lifelong connections.

Jerry was a master wordsmith, known for his Jerry-isms. He was a dry-witted comedian who brought constant humor to every conversation. He ignored his calling to become a stand-up comic and worked instead as an attorney for law firms and pharmaceutical industries. He never allowed his career to define him. What takes some of us lifetimes to discover, he knew from the start—success and status were secondary to creating a stable, loving, and safe world for the people he loved most. By that standard, he was as successful as any human can be.

Jerry was an amazing chef whose love language was evident in the meals he created each night. He was incredibly proud of his kitchen and the food that he served those seated at his island. His domain was his home—rooms filled with music, a refrigerator stuffed with food, a carefully-curated bourbon collection, shelves of records, walls of objects chosen for their meaning. His home was a space of warmth, calm, laughter, and security. He adored bringing people there, making sure they felt welcome and loved. In his unassuming way, he would put strangers at ease and then draw them in with humor. His wife and girls were blessed to step through the door every evening to a place where all worries disappeared.

He was a lover of animals, a record collector and veritable musical encyclopedia, a trivia junkie, a secret romantic with a penchant for poetry and story, and an ever-present, always-available father and husband. But beyond that, at his core, Jerry was quite simply the best kind of human. His default was love. As so many have said since his passing, the world is a better place because he lived.

His legacy and light will live on in his children, Callie and Abby, and his wife, Jennifer, who were his whole world, in his beloved in-laws, David and Susan Rose, in his extended family, in the friends who adored him like a brother, and in every person he touched in his quiet, kind way. Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father, Jo and Jerry Wilkins.

His wife and children are asking for all memories, photos, videos, and snippets of stories that anyone can share. These will be collected for his girls. These can be sent to

Jerry hated the idea of a funeral, so his family and friends will be throwing a party on Friday, May 3rd beginning at 6pm. It will most likely continue into the night, so come when you can. The celebration of his life will take place at the Atrium by Ligon Flynn, 15 South 2nd Street, Wilmington, NC.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his children’s educational funds or to the animal rescue from which Jerry’s two beloved dogs, Parker and Airlie, were adopted.

To make an educational gift contribution:
1. Click the link under Jerry’s Picture.
2. Callie’s Ugift code: H06-S9L
Abby’s Ugift code: 73K-D74
3. Enter your name and the amount of your gift.
4. Make your gift via electronic funds transfer or check.

To make an animal rescue donation:
Checks can be sent to Saving Dogs for Betty’s Sake

Please leave memories and condolences for Jerry’s family by signing the Tribute Wall below.

Care entrusted to Wilmington Funeral & Cremation – Wilmington Chapel – 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

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  • April 03, 2024
    Guido Infante Ferrari says:
    My best good vibes to Jerry and his Family. An amazing person and partner! My energy and vibes to the entire Family from Argentina

  • March 31, 2024
    Shirley Galliazzo lit a candle:
    Lit since March 31, 2024 at 3:08:10 PM

  • March 31, 2024
    Shirley Galliazzo says:
    I am sure his Mom and Dad were there to welcome him into heaven. May he be resting in peace.

  • March 31, 2024
    Patrick Hannon says:
    Dear Wilkins Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. Patrick Hannon

  • March 30, 2024
    Jennifer Craven lit a candle:
    Lit since March 30, 2024 at 3:34:17 PM