Russell Wilks


SYLVANIA Russell D. Wilks, 94, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.Mr. Wilks was retired from being a construction superintendent with Sullivan, Long and Haggerty out of Birmingham. He was also a retired hog farmer, and a well-known Gospel singer for the last 80 years.Mr. Wilks traveled all over the United States in the 1930s, 40s and 5Os, singing with quartets such as the Stamps-Baxter Rhythmaires, Happy-Hitters, Noblemen, and others, He knew and sang with many of the most popular singers and songwriters of those days. He could still tell many stories of the folks he sang with, and his great love was singing. He was blessed with a "first tenor" voice, and continued to sing at funerals and weddings, as well as at his church and at others. He sang He Touched Me on Dec. 30, at his home church, Sylvania Baptist.Mr. Wilks was born on Sept. 23, 1918, to Elijah M. and Rilla Petty Wilks of Hengar. His brothers were Leonard, Bonard, Arnold and Raymond Wilks, of Henagar. His sister was Lena Wilks Barrontine.He was the widower of Donnie Barrontine Wilks. His daughters and sons in-law are Cheryl and Michael Jones, Rhonda and Billy Sizemore and Debbie and Charles Sizemore, all of Sylvania. His grandchildren are Rob and Donna Jones, of Huntsville, Steve Jones, of Greenville, S.C., Wade and Jania Sizemore, Carley and John Windsor and Chip Sizemore, all, of Sylvania, Chad and Candace Sizemore, of Central and Angela and Clinton Thomas, of Ider. His great-grandchildren are Ryan Jones, Kathryn Jones, Austin Sizemore, Halle Grace Sizemore, Trent Thomas and Deklon Sizemore.Services will be Saturday at Henagar Baptist Church. The Body will lie in state from 1-2 p.m. with Gospel singing, which was so much a part of Mr. Wilks life, Service will follow 2 p.m. with the Rev. Kevin Wilks, the Rev. Jason Wilks (great-nephews), Rev. David Starling Rev. David Patty and Rev. Lee Bryant officiating. There will also be sacred harp singing at the graveside.Arrangements by Kerby Funeral Home.

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