Van Court Wilkins, Army colonel

January 9

Van Court Wilkins, a retired Army colonel and veteran of World War II and the Korean War, died Dec. 23 at a hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va. He was 87.

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his daughter Michelle Cardillo.

Col. Wilkins served 31 years in the Army and in American-occupied Japan after World War II. During the Korean War, he received the Silver Star. His other decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

In his final active-duty assignment, he was an administrator at the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington. He then was financial officer with the Association of American Colleges and Universities from 1975 to 1983, followed by editing work at transportation-oriented publications including Passenger Train Journal and Motor Coach Age.

Van Court Wilkins was born in Chevy Chase and raised in Lebanon, Ohio. He was a 1959 graduate of the University of Maryland, where he also received a master’s degree in business administration in 1962. He received a master’s degree in political science from George Washington University in 1968.

He moved to Shepherdstown, W.Va., from Alexandria in the mid-1980s.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Demaris Forsythe Wilkins of Shepherdstown; five children, Kristen Brown of Harrisburg, Pa., Sharron McCoy of Litchfield, Conn., Jennifer O’Neill of Milmont Park, Pa., John Wilkins of Jefferson, Md., and Michelle Cardillo of Union, N.J.; and 12 grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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