We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Kelly Smith Funeral & Cremation Services LLC.
David Edward Wilkins, 85, of Monticello, passed away on Monday, June 6 in Little Rock. He was born
June 30, 1936 in Columbia County, Arkansas to Jessie Ruth and Milton Wilkins.
David attended public schools in Macedonia and Magnolia, Arkansas. He received many honors while in school including being named to the all-County and District basketball teams and being selected most handsome. David graduated from Magnolia High School and received a basketball scholarship to Southern State University.
David served in the United States Air Force for three years and returned to Southern State to complete
his degree in Industrial Management. He also pursued special studies in management at LSU, University of Kansas, Best Western International Inc., and Intercontinental Hotels Group.
David was self-employed and co-founded numerous businesses in Magnolia and Monticello during the
late 1960’s through the present. He co-founded the Columbia County Credit Bureau, Columbia Life
Insurance of Magnolia, Pizza-Q Enterprises, and W Appraisal Company.
As President of Southeast Food Services, he developed operations of KFC franchises in Monticello,
Warren, and McGehee. David built the first franchised motel in Monticello, The Best Western Inn, in
1978. As a certified hotel administrator he built and operated twenty-two hotels in a six state area.
David’s passion for oil exploration began at an early age.
He was a self-taught geologist and co-founder of J-D Oil Company and several other entities dedicated to oil and gas exploration and production.
David was very active in the community and First United Methodist Church. At various times he was a
member of the Jaycees, Rotary Club, served on the boards of Magnolia and Monticello Chambers of
Commerce, local banks and financial institutions. David especially enjoyed his FUMC Sunday school
David was an avid golfer, winning the Monticello Country Club Men’s Golf championship in 1983 and
runner-up in 1984. He loved piloting his airplane for business and pleasure trips throughout the
David is survived by his beloved wife Ginger Darden Wilkins, two daughters Sheri Carson (John) of
Monticello and Vickie Collier (Wade) of San Antonio, a brother Gene Bentz (Theresa), and 6
grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Memorial service will be Monday, June 20 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church in Monticello.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First United Methodist Church of Monticello.
*** SPECIAL NOTES ***
Click on the "SERVICE DETAILS" button to get updated time and location information. (The Wake, family hour and gathering of family and friends CAN mean all the same in some circumstances, PLEASE read "SERVICE DETAILS" to be correctly informed)
Click on the "TRIBUTE WALL or GUEST BOOK" button to LIGHT A CANDLE and to see all photos, click on a photo to enlarge them. Then click the L or R to see all photos.
Click on "FLOWERS & GIFTS" button SO THAT YOU CAN SEND FLOWERS/CARDS/BLANKETS/GIFTS.
WE WOULD LIKE TO ENCOURAGE THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO CONTINUE TO LIGHT A CANDLE ON THIS MEMORIAL PAGE THROUGHOUT THE DAYS, MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME. ESPECIALLY, DURING DAYS OF SPECIAL EVENTS, i.e. BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS, ANNIVERSARY AND THEN ON DAYS WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO SAY SOMETHING TO OR ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES FOR NO SPECIAL REASON.
YOU CAN ALSO SEND PERSONAL MESSAGES, AND UPLOAD PHOTOS ANYTIME. YOU CAN ALSO UPLOAD PHOTOS/VIDEOS OR LIGHT AN "IN LOVING MEMORY OF" CANDLE (DESIGN AND COLORS CAN BE CHANGED) FROM THIS, MEMORIAL PAGE.
THIS MEMORIAL PAGE WILL REMAIN ON OUR WEBSITE INDEFINITELY. DO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND PHOTOS WITH THE FAMILY, THEY WILL APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.
(We would also appreciate it if you will RATE us, on GOOGLE)