John B. Wilkinson

John B. Wilkinson

Died January 31, 2012

John’s entry in the class book and directory for our 25th reunion in 1990: “[S]ome things never change. I am late with this already and in the midst of two acquisitions. I aspire to be better prepared for our fiftieth.” That was not to be.

He died on January 31, 2012 after losing his battle with complications from cancer, survived by his wife of 13 years, Joyce.

John came to Yale from Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ, via the University of Paris after University of Virginia. While at Yale John resided in Branford, majored in history and was a member of Army R.O.T.C. He graduated Cum laude from Yale.

After Yale John earned a J.D. in 1968 from Stanford University Law School. After serving briefly as a foreign service officer in the Department of State, followed by five years in the practice with The Upjohn Company, Abbott Laboratories, Container Corporation of America, and, from 1988 forward, as general counsel for Smurfit, Latin America.

His wife, Joyce, tells us: “ (a)fter retirement, John served as president of his condominium association, played golf (getting 2 holes-in-one) and followed his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers even after they moved to Los Angeles. We spent winters in Florida where John could enjoy the ocean private practice of law, he entered corporate law and continue playing golf…At the age of 13, John would score as many baseball games as were available to see or hear. Before the Internet, he’d listen to the radio even though the static was louder than the announcer. John remained a Dodgers fan even though ‘his boys’ moved to Los Angeles. John was the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only did he teach a lot about life but also faith in God.”