John Collinsworth Wilkins Jr., 95, a resident of Watkins Glen passed away on August 22, 2021 at the Bath, NY VA nursing home. He was born in 1926 and raised in New Orleans’ 9th ward. John was a Word War II veteran who served in the Navy as a Medic on the USS John Hancock aircraft carrier.
In the early 1950’s, he designed and handmade Mardi Gras costumes and parade floats for various crews and balls. In the late 1950’s, he moved to New York City and was assistant bank manger for Chemical Bank now known as Chase Bank.
In 1959, he owned a dress design business on Long Island. He then moved to Jersey City, New Jersey where he met his wife Mary at his antique shop. October of this year, they would have been married 50 years.
They have two daughters Janine (Bryan) Strniste (ME), and Louise Wilkins (WG). He moved his family to Watkins Glen in 1983 where he taught stained glass through the Padua Free University in Watkins and at his glass studio, J&L Studio. Many of his students became close friends. He also made many other close friends while living in Watkins Glen. In the mid 1990’s he was art director for three years at Alpha House, a drug rehabilitation center in Trumansburg, NY.
He is also survived by his brother-in-law Leon (Elizabeth) Gorny (AZ), his sisters-in-law Helen and Eleanor Gorny (NJ), his niece Jennifer (Dr. Mathew) Alexander (TX), and former sister-in-law Yvonne (John) Zimmerman (CO).
Calling hours will be at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, 212 E. 4th St., in Watkins Glen on Monday (Aug. 30) from 5-7pm; followed by sharing of stories and remembrances at 7:00pm. Masks and social distancing are requested by family. Burial will be at the Bath National Cemetery Tuesday (Aug. 31) at 1:00pm with Naval Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of “John Collinsworth Wilkins, Jr.” to Parkinson’s Foundation www.parkinson.org (follow “Donate”, “Tribute Gift”, or you can contact the foundation at 1-800-473-4636); or the Schuyler County Volunteer Ambulance Association 607-535-7273. Envelopes will be provided at the funeral home.
Condolences and Remembrances that will be shared at his funeral and may be written in his obituary "Memory Wall" found at www.RoyceChedzoy.com