He was born on Aug. 15, 1961, in a U.S. Army hospital in Neubrucke, Germany, while his father was serving in the Army and his mother was teaching school. He lived in various places, growing up in North Carolina, New York, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Wyoming.
Steve graduated from Cody High School in 1979 and enlisted in the Army, where he had three years of very honorable service. He received numerous commendations for his service and was nominated to attend Officer Candidate School, which he opted not to do.
Upon completion of his three years of service, he returned to Cody, which he called home for the remainder of his life. In 1995 he married Teri Anne Drake, who had two children. She died unexpectedly in 2004 and he never remarried.
Steve was always a very kind and gentle person. He loved animals and children. Though he had none of his own, he thrilled them whenever they were around him. He was almost a scratch golfer, a very good baseball and softball player, and he loved the outdoors. Steve loved hunting and fishing with his father and his brother and he was very good at it.
Steve had a great sense of humor and people enjoyed being around him. He was always generous and true to his friends. He spent most of his life working in the oil fields and in construction and was very good at meeting challenges and solving problems when they arose. Steve was a good motor mechanic and was good with tools in any application.
After fighting a serious addiction to alcohol most of his life, Steve proudly won that fight and he left the oil fields to work at West Park Hospital until he was unable to work due to his health.
He is survived by his parents, Buck and Shirley Wilkerson; his brother, Woody, (sister-in-law Jennifer and two nieces, Ella and Emma); one sister, Sue (nephew Roger and niece Sarah); stepchildren Ty and Chelsea Drake; and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins.
Funeral services were held Saturday, June 22, at Ballard Funeral Home with Bishop Jeff Rudolph officiating.
Burial followed at Riverside Cemetery with military honors provided by the VFW Honor Guard.
Memorial donations in Steve’s name can be made to Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody.
An online memorial is available at www.ballardfh.com