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ACU Remembers: Karen Wilkerson

By on October 23, 2018 in ACU News with 15 Comments

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Karen Wilkerson
Karen Wilkerson

Karen Wilkerson, director of the Upward Bound program at Abilene Christian University, died Oct. 23, 2018, at age 47 following an illness. Memorial arrangements are pending.

Before joining ACU’s staff in 2002 as an advisor in the university’s Talent Search program, she worked in the Upward Bound program at McLennan Community College. She was named Upward Bound director for Abilene Christian in 2006. She was a leader in the national community of TRIO professionals, having served as president of the Texas Association for Special Student Services Programs.

Wilkerson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas A&M University and a master’s in educational psychology from Baylor University. She mentored hundreds of local high school students who come from low-income households to be the first in their families to attend college. Colleagues respected her as a passionate and trusted guide to young people in Abilene.

Among survivors are her husband, Gerald Wilkerson (’92), and their children, Donovan and Victoria. The Wilkersons are members at Abilene’s Minda Street Church of Christ, where Gerald is an elder.

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  1. Avatar Smoke says:

    I want to give my condolences to Gerald and their kids. From the first time I ever met Karen she was a sincere and easy going person. You could tell she really loved Gerald and was passionate about her work, career, people, and her faith. She always had a smile on her face whenver she stopped by the barbershop when I was there for a haircut. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with the family.

    “Smoke”

  2. Avatar Gabriela Lane says:

    I will miss you Karen. Hours and hours working together and creating bridges between the upward bound program and the international office. My prayers are with the family.

  3. Avatar Lisa Lopez says:

    My prayers go out to the family. Karen was very special and made such an impact on my daughter. We had the pleasure of knowing her through Upward Bounds and she truly loved her students. We were devastated when we heard the news. May she fly high with the angels. RIP Karen…we love & will miss you.

    Lisa & Anissa Lopez

  4. Avatar Martha Hardy says:

    My prayers are with the Wilkerson family at this time.

  5. Avatar Christina Forrest says:

    My heart breaks to learn of this news. Ms. Wilkerson mentored my brother and was a huge influence in seeing the potential in every child. I am so sorry to hear of her passing.

  6. Avatar Effie Harrison says:

    I am in prayer for Karen’s family, I pray God gives them strength through this loss . I knew Karen as a child, her parents and aunt. God please keep your arms around all of them and R.I.P. Karen❤️❤️

  7. Avatar Patricia Murray says:

    You will be missed. R.I.Paradise.

  8. Avatar Beverly B. Walker says:

    May God continue to bless you and your family!

  9. Avatar Floyd E Miller says:

    Deepest Sympathy to Gerald and his family. You are in our prayers.

  10. Avatar Alfred and Trena Williams says:

    So sorry for the loss. The Williams family send our condolences

  11. Avatar Yvonne M. Mooney says:

    Mrs. Wilkerson was also the beloved daughter of Mrs. Johnnie M. Talton, Waco, Texas and Mr. Joel T. Tàlton, Pluggerville, Texas who have been extremely proud of her in every way; her younger brother, Joel Christopher Talton, will miss his confidant and mentor.

  12. Avatar Cheryle Wheeler-Johnson says:

    We shared great times together as TRIO Professionals and I must say I am very sad to hear this news…Sending prayers to the family and the lives she touched through service.

    Humbly submitted by—
    Cheryle Wheeler-Johnson, Director
    Upward Bound Sabine
    Southern University
    Shreveport, LA

  13. Avatar Elizabeth Strahan Johnson says:

    THE STRAHAN FAMILIES OF ABILENE,DALLAS,HOUSTON TEXAS SEND OUR DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY

  14. Avatar Marissa Rodriguez says:

    I am so sorry for her passing she was a great person…I enjoyed her family at Minda St. CDC…continued prayers for her family and for her friends and families at Minda Street Church Of Christ…

  15. Avatar Twanna Neal says:

    Sister Wilkerson, played a vital role in my son Geralds education through the upward bound program, he loves her dearly, she also encouraged me to go back to school at age 50 , with the words you can do it followed by a gorgeous smile. We all love her and her family very much. Karen touched so many children lives around the big country and at church.

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