Kevin Mark Wilhelm, proud retired Veteran of the United States Navy, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at the of age 64. Beside him was his loving wife of 44 years, Page Wilhelm. Kevin was a beloved husband, father, brother, and grandfather (“Papa”) as well as a dear friend to many. He is survived by his wife, Page Wilhelm; his daughter and family, Laura, Kevin, and McKenzie Walker; his son and family, Joshua, Taren, Arilyn, and Declan Wilhelm; his sister and family, Marcia and Louis Ostendorff, Jenna and Ani; and several other extended family members.
Kevin was born on April 3, 1957 in Roanoke, VA to his parents Doris and Mark S. Wilhelm, Jr. From his paperboy route as a young boy to his daily morning walks throughout downtown Vinton as a craftsman and retired Veteran, Kevin was a stranger to none wherever he went. Kevin was a hard-working man devoted to caring for his family and those he loved. He worked as a Boilermaker/Blacksmith at Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W), ran Mama’s Mercantile with his wife in Montvale, owned concession businesses with his wife along the Gulf Coast, served as Chief in the United States Navy, championed several beard competitions earning many “best natural beard” titles, and crafted one-of-a-kind stained glass pieces of work (a skill he learned from his father and passed down to his children and grandchildren; such talent notably present in various crafted items by his daughter, Laura).
Kevin was most proud of his U.S. Naval Career and that of his wife, Page, serving as an Ombudsman for the USS Saratoga for 4 years. Kevin joined the Navy in November 1986 and went on to serve his country aboard the USS Saratoga (CG-60), the USS Vicksburg (CG-69) where he earned the honor of becoming Chief (an astounding accomplishment he achieved in under 8 years), the USS DeWert, and Pensacola Naval Station. He also took pride that the Navy tradition ran deep within his family to include his father, Mark, serving as a Veteran of World War II and his son, Joshua, serving as an ET aboard the USS Nimitz along with his wife, Taren, serving as an Ombudsman. Kevin could often be found spending time at the Vinton War Memorial on his morning walks.
To have met Kevin once is to remember him always. To have had Kevin be part of your life is to forever be changed. He leaves with us a legacy of standing up for what you believe, working hard to provide for your family, looking out for ways to check on and help others, looking out for ways to preserve and reuse things, taking pride in your work and craftsmanship, leaving surprises and notes with drawings to remind and show you care, making time to share stories and chase them with a lime…but most of all, loving so deep to remain forever in our hearts and inspire us daily to continue his legacy.
Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. A celebration of Kevin’s life will be planned for later in the spring to create a memorial garden in his honor. Further details will be shared on his facebook page as plans are made.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kevin Mark Wilhelm, please visit our floral store.