Gale Wilkins

Obituary of Gale F. Wilkins

Gale Francis "Spike" Wilkins, 72, passed away peacefully at home on July 10 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Gale was born in AuSable Forks to Francis and Elizabeth (Richard) Wilkins on September 17, 1946. He graduated from Corinth Central School in 1965 where he was an outstanding basketball player. He attended Hudson Valley Community College, St. Anselm's College and earned a B.A. Degree in education from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1970.

Gale married his high school sweetheart Leslie in 1969. He taught English at Saranac Lake Central School for 30 years and coached boy JV and Varsity basketball for 12 years. After he retired from SLCS, he worked as the athletic director for Willsboro Central School where he also coached girls JV basketball for several years.

Gale was a dedicated father and grandfather. Gale and Leslie raised one daughter and three granddaughters. He was very active in helping to develop his granddaughters' basketball skills by coaching girls youth basketball teams for many years, and continued to support them through AAU and many summer basketball camps. Gale could always be seen at their basketball games whether from the coach's chair or spectator stands.

Gale enjoyed watching basketball games, alpine skiing, hunting, boating, golfing, and fly fishing. He fished in Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska and enjoyed fishing in the AuSable River and Salmon River. He was an accomplished finish carpenter and could often be seen in the summer mowing his massive lawn which he took great pride in at his home in Willsboro.

Gale is survived by his wife, Leslie, of 49 years, and their daughter, Katherine (Corey), his beloved granddaughters, Alexis, Sheila, and Kaitlyn Wilkins, and grandson Ethan Graham, one great granddaughter, Brinnlee, and one great grandson, Lyric. Also surviving him are four brothers: Robert (Jill) of Corinth, NY; Michael (MaryBeth) of S.C.; Anthony of Naples, FL; and Patrick (Terry) of Queensbury, NY; 3 nieces and 1 nephew; sister-in-law, Dianne Forman-Johnson (Steven) of Bolton Landing, NY; and 2 nieces and 2 nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and 2 nephews.

There will be no public calling hours, a private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Donations may be made in Gale's memory to the American Cancer Society and High Peaks Hospice.

Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, 643-9055.

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