Joe Miller Wilkes, age 84 of Gallatin, departed this life and slipped into the arms of his Lord on December 30, 2020 at his home surrounded by his family.
Joe is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary Lee Cox Wilkes; children, Lee Randolph Wilkes and Stephany Jo Wilkes, son-in-law David B. Linton, great-grandchildren Brooke Elaine Linton (Brayden, Chase & Sophia) and Joseph “Joey” David Linton, and Kimberly Hoderfield (Mother of Brooke & Joey); sister, Virginia Wilkes Douglass, brother-in-law James (Jim) Lee Cox, and sister-in-law Yvonne Cox Russell (Kirby). Additionally, many beloved nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alonzo D. Wilkes and Cordie Rutledge Wilkes, his precious Aunt Bessie; siblings, Durwood Wilkes, John Wilkes, James Wilkes, Robert Wilkes, David “Buddy” Wilkes, Irma Bentley, Lucille Bolton, Edna Mathers, and Essie Lee Mann and their spouses; and brother-in-law, Edward “Ned” Douglass.
Joe was born in Castalian Springs on September 18, 1936. He served in the Army from 1958 until 1962 and was stationed at Fort Ord California. Mary Lee joined him there and Stephany was born during that time. Upon leaving the Army they returned home to Gallatin and set upon creating their family’s life. Lee joined the family in 1966. Joe was a skilled tool maker by trade and worked at several plants in Gallatin before taking his final career position at CIP-ITW as manager of the tool room. Joe (& Mary Lee) was very involved in his church First Baptist Gallatin and his community. He loved people and had many lifelong friends and many new friends as he loved to meet folks and get their story. This genuine love of people drew people to him. Joe in his retirement years became active in a couple of vintage car clubs and owned several classic cars, including an A-Model that he restored by hand. He shared these cars in parades and even did a couple of weddings. For the last several years he kept busy working alongside his two favorite ladies in the family’s latest venture, Bee Inspired. He proved as talented with furniture restoration and restyling as he had been with tool making in his earlier career.
Joe, always up for a fun time, requested his classic car buddies bring their best ride so they can take one last ride together.
The Celebration of Joe’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, January 4, 2021 at First Baptist Church Gallatin, 223 East Main Street, Gallatin, TN with Rev. Travis Fleming and Bro. Ray Young officiating. Interment will follow in Gallatin City Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be Monday from 1:00 P.M. until service time. Masks will be required for entry into the church and all social distancing guidelines will be followed. Pallbearers will be Al Bentley, Ben Pearson, Johnny Wilkes, Richard Powell, Tim Willmore, Steve Elbert, LeRoy Morrow, and Jim Bybee. Joe’s services will be streamed live via the First Baptist Gallatin and Sumner Funeral & Cremation Facebook pages and on the First Baptist Gallatin website at
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Joe’s name to the Sumner County Food Bank, where Joe was blessed to volunteer, or to the charity of your choice.
Rest well Dad, you will be missed greatly.
Arrangements Entrusted To: Sumner Funeral & Cremation, Gallatin (615)452-9059