Audrey Genders Wilkes passed away peacefully at her home on Porter Avenue in Biloxi, MS on the evening of Thursday, January 5, 2023 at the age of 98.
Audrey was born in Bloomington, IL on December 31, 1924 to Harry O. and Irene Hensel Genders. She graduated from Illinois State Normal High School in 1942 and attended William Woods College in Fulton, MO. Audrey married Biloxi native, Walter Joseph Wilkes on July 11, 1943. Besides spending time with her family and friends, Audrey had a passion for traveling, solving crossword puzzles, muddling at crocheting and painting, but deserved a blue ribbon for her potato salad and infamous pimento cheese.
She had a diverse and prolific desire to read and an affinity for volunteering at the Nativity BVM Parish Cathedral. Audrey was a former PTA President at Nativity BVM Elementary School and Co-President of the Ladies Alter Society at Nativity BVM Cathedral. She was an Officer of the Parish Liturgical Spiritual Life Committee as well as chair of many small committees in her thirty year tenure of volunteering. Audrey received the honor of the “Lumen Christi Award” given to people who radiate and reveal the Light of Christ and who stand out as a shining example of a “Faithful Catholic” known for their incredible work.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Walter J. Wilkes; her parents, Harry O. and Irene Hensel Genders; her brother, William E. Genders; her grandsons, Jeffrey Michael Huska and Rene Zook; and her son-in-law, John Huska, Jr.
Audrey’s survivors include her sons, William Edward Wilkes of Weimar, TX and Wade James Wilkes of Ocean Springs, MS; her daughters, Wanda Wilkes Huska of Ocean Springs, MS and Audra Wilkes D’Anella of Peachtree Corners, GA; eight grandchildren; and eighteen great-grandchildren.
The family sends a special thanks to Genita, Southern Care Hospice and Your Choice Home Care, who assisted in managing her home care. Audrey also wanted to fondly thank those who spent one year committed to her loving care, Brittany, Keke, Aaliyah, Heather, Amy, Seth, Robin and Donna.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Audrey’s memory to Nativity BVM Cathedral or St. Vincent de Paul Society in Biloxi.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Nativity BVM Cathedral on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 12:00 pm. Friends may visit from 11:00 am until Mass time. Interment will follow at Southern Memorial Park.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the Wilkes family.