Thomas A. Gilkerson, 78, of Frontenac, Kansas, passed away on February 9, 2023, after a long illness. He was the son of Othal and Lavina (Herdt) Gilkerson. Thomas was born on April 29, 1944, in Salina, Kansas, and was the oldest of twelve children. He was preceded in death by his parents, infant sister Geneva, and brother Marvin.
He is survived by his wife of the home Anne (Teeter) Gilkerson, and three adult children. His oldest daughter Jenna, and husband, Larry Watson of Aurora, MO; daughter Adina and husband, Tony Sanchez of Pittsburg, KS; son Travis and wife, Kristine (Hilgart) Gilkerson of Hewitt, WI. Tom has four grandchildren, Ciara and Roman Sanchez, and Andrew and Emma Gilkerson.
Tom is survived by siblings: Lela and husband Jim Ziegelmeier of Salina, KS; Lila and husband Wayne Krug of Salina, KS; Virginia Reed of Katy, TX; Verlin and wife Liz Gilkerson of Elk Grove, CA; Verna and husband Bill Organ of Centennial, CO; Wilmer and wife Gail Gilkerson of Marysville, KS; Lorraine Samuelson of Oakley, KS; Stanley and wife Esther Gilkerson of Burkburnett, TX; and Pam Jackson of Hermitage, TN.
Tom grew up and attended schools in Oakley, Kansas. He served in the US Army at Red Stone Arsenal in Alabama, working with the Nike Hercules Missile System. He attended college at Fort Hays State University before marrying his wife, Anne Marie Teeter, on November 26, 1966 in Oakley, KS.
Tom worked with several companies in his adult life including: Beech Aircraft, Addressograph, Ruffin Fertilizer, Grainger Farm Supply, and Certified Laboratories. He enjoyed working with southwest Kansas industries and small municipalities in the water treatment industry. Tom founded and operated Catalog Chemical, a water treatment consulting company, for several years. Later on, he was an owner-operator of two parcel delivery routes with RPS and FedEx. Tom enjoyed several clubs and organizations including: Ambucs, Optimus Club, and Lions Club, and always enjoyed meeting friends for coffee in Dodge City to have spirited discussions about current events.
Tom's family would like to express deep gratitude to the many healthcare professionals that cared for him over the past several years. Special thanks to Dr. Jacqueline Orender - primary care; Dr. Chang-Qing "Mickie" Xun - oncology; Dr. Bashar Marji – cardiology; and the amazing volunteers and staff of the Ascension Via Christi Cancer Center in Pittsburg, KS.
Burial will take place on May 6, 2023 at the Oakley Cemetery in Oakley, Kansas. Memorial service will take place immediately after at the Buffalo Bill Event Center located at 3083 US Hwy 83, Oakley, KS 67748. Further details will be released by family members as specific times become available. In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to make a donation to a local elementary school lunch program.