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Wilkes Purchases Roberts-Stewart Funeral Home

Wilkes Purchases Roberts-Stewart Funeral Home
WILKES FUNERAL HOME — Wilkes and other employees of the funeral home stand in front of the newly-updated sign. L to R: Jordan Wilkes, Kyle Wilkes and Anna Helms.Photo by Makaylee Randolph
Wilkes Purchases Roberts-Stewart Funeral Home
WILKES FUNERAL HOME — Wilkes and other employees of the funeral home stand in front of the newly-updated sign. L to R: Jordan Wilkes, Kyle Wilkes and Anna Helms.Photo by Makaylee Randolph

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A Toombs County native has purchased the Roberts-Stewart Funeral Home, which will now conduct business under the name Wilkes Funeral Home.

Kyle Wilkes is no stranger to the area, as he was a standout football player for Toombs County High School, a graduate of Vidalia High School, and a longtime employee of the Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home. Yet, after a few years of absence from the funeral business to work at Plant Vogtle, Wilkes has returned to his hometown to serve the community through funeral services.

According to Wilkes, he became aware of the opportunity to purchase the funeral home after his brother, Jordan Wilkes, learned of former owner Brandon Roberts’ desire to sell the building while at a store in the Tanger Outlets of Pooler, which Roberts also owns. Upon learning this information, Jordan Wilkes called his brother, who immediately contacted Roberts and began discussions of the transaction. “It was just one of those things where you’re in the right place at the right time,” the new owner remarked. The sale was official at 3 p.m. on Friday, January 6, which allowed Wilkes to begin the process of rebranding the property’s sign and making the business his own. “The biggest thing I am excited for is to return to the funeral services business,” he explained. “I hated to leave the last funeral home I was at, but the change was necessary due to insurance reasons. I knew I wanted to be in the funeral home business, I knew that is what I am built for, and I’m excited for the opportunities that come with that.”

Some of the opportunities which Wilkes hopes come with his establishment as a local entrepreneur is to invest in the community. “I have a daughter with autism, so I really want to be able to invest in a local autism program and invest in the children in the community,” he emphasized. “I just want to be able to serve the families of the surrounding counties to the best of my ability.”

Background

Wilkes said he was drawn to the funeral services business after his experience in the Georgia Southern University nursing program and working in hospitals. “I’m always the biggest guy in the room everywhere I go, so when people passed away, I was always asked by the funeral director to help move the person from the bed to the cot,” he explained. “I got more and more used to that, more and more used to being with the families in the hospital rooms while waiting on funeral services, so I got the idea that that’s what I wanted to do.”

One day, while working in the hospital, Wilkes met a funeral director, whom he asked for guidance on how to go about pursing the career. “He told me I had to get a degree if I wanted to be licensed. I was already living in Statesboro, so I Googled the closest funeral services programs, and there was one at Ogeechee Technical College,” he continued. “I dropped out of nursing school and enrolled in funeral services at Ogeechee Tech two weeks later. It’s a weird way it happened, but I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be.”

He completed his apprenticeship at Fairhaven Funeral Home in Savannah before entering into the business fully as an employee at Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home for 10 years.

For more information on the business, contact the business office of the funeral home at 912-5373044.

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