Remembering Bill Wilkerson
Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018
My good friend Bill Wilkerson died June 25 after bravely battling cancer.
I met Bill 10 years ago in a real estate office in Columbus. My wife, Toula, and I were looking for a house in the mountains, somewhere where we could escape the torrid heat in Charleston, South Carolina.
He eventually found a place for us on U.S. 176 in Melrose, which is right outside Saluda. It was a cabin on the side of a mountain and it was just the right property I was looking for.
He also sold me 5 more acres above it and, when my wife decided to add a basement to it, he found all of the contractors that I needed.
Bill and his wife, Betty, whom he called “Blue,” soon became good friends — we ate out together, socialized and went to the Flat Rock Playhouse when there was something worth seeing.
He was also a devout Christian, a family man — a father, grandfather and husband — and seemed to know everyone in Polk County.
When I needed an opinion I could count on, I always called Bill. He always had the answer.
Bill and Betty came to Saluda “as soon as he could” after retiring as an executive from Greenwood Packing in South Carolina. He sold real estate and kept busy at home, crafting woodwork and renovating anything could get his hands on, like bluebird houses, chicken coops and houseboats.
He was also a raconteur, and could mesmerize anyone who would listen as he held court on his front porch.
I will miss Bill a lot. Men like him are rare in this topsy-turvy world we live in.
He had high standards, was always true to his promises and was true to his family, who he loved dearly. I loved him like a brother — one who always had your back and you could count on.
When I got the notice that he died, I started crying, for I knew the good times we had before were now gone.
Charleston, South Carolina