Obituary: Stanley Ward Wilkerson dies, helped homeless veterans

12/13/2011 12:00 AM

12/13/2011 9:29 AM

Stanley Ward Wilkerson, an Army veteran who reached out to help others as a volunteer at Stand Down camps for homeless veterans, has died at age 51.

He was killed Nov. 15 when a car struck him as he rode his bicycle on Power Inn Road north of Gerber Road around 8 p.m., according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Mr. Wilkerson fought in the Persian Gulf War and was discharged as an Army sergeant after four years.

He struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder after settling in Sacramento in 1999 and was homeless for two years before turning his life around, friend Jacqueline Williams said.

He worked as a handyman and traveled to volunteer at Stand Down camps throughout California.

He advised homeless veterans on filling out paperwork to receive benefits.

A Los Angeles native, Mr. Wilkerson was born in 1960. He worked on fishing boats in Alaska before moving to Sacramento, Williams said.

He was a friendly, down-to-earth guy who chatted easily with people. He lived recently with a friend whom he helped recover from heart-transplant surgery, Williams said.

Survivors include his mother, Earlene of Los Angeles; son, Stanley of Chicago; sisters, Lori and Lynette, both of Los Angeles; and brother, Kenji of Los Angeles.

No services are planned in Sacramento.

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