Roger Blane Wilkerson, 50, of Gillette died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Campbell County Memorial Hospital from COVID-19, surrounded by family and friends. Never a quitter, he was hospitalized for over a month with his wife Carrie never leaving his side.

Funeral services begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Family Life Church. Following the service, family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of life at Bel Nob Golf Course.

Roger Blane Wilkerson was born April 27, 1971, to Richard and Peggy (Schneider) Wilkerson in Miles City, Montana.

Being a part of a very proud and independent oilfield family, he was moved wherever the “patch” took them — Belle Creek, Montana, Glenrock, Casper, Dickinson, North Dakota, Lafayette, Louisiana, and back to Dickinson, where he graduated from high school in 1989. The family then moved to Gillette.

Traditions set by the men in his family for generations, he decided to sign up for the U.S. Navy. His life as a sailor was an adventure on the high seas. From the mountains to the sea, the Wyoming kid was assigned to the USS George Washington, the newest aircraft carrier in the U.S. Naval fleet, where he was honored to serve in the Persian Gulf War. During the Persian Gulf War Seaman Wilkerson earned the opportunity to navigate the USS GW through the Suez Canal. Unlike too many of our military personnel to whom all Americans owe their freedom and their way of life, he came home to Gillette without harm.

His interest in operating big equipment drew his attention to the railroad where he started as a conductor and worked his way up to an engineer. During his time on the railroad he found the “love of his life” Carrie McCartney. He then chose a different career path that kept him closer to home going to work at Black Thunder coal mine for over the last 20 years.

On May 7, 2005, he married Carrie. He was a caring and devoted husband and father. He loved riding their Harley, boating, camping, hunting and spending time together supporting their children in sporting events.

His children’s passion for sports inspired him to involve himself in every way he could, from helping and assisting coach his children’s sporting activities, traveling, sports fundraising and being a youth advocate. He had an impact on not only his children, but the lives of all the kids who knew him.

Mr. Wilkerson was an avid hunter and fisherman. His love for the great outdoors was more than a passion, it was also his way to teach valuable life lessons to those he loved.

He was preceded in death by all his grandparents; two uncles; and one cousin.

He is survived by his wife, Carrie Wilkerson; children, Ty and Falen; parents, Richard and Peggy Wilkerson of Pine Haven; sister, Wendy of Rozet; as well as his vast array of friends and family.

A memorial, Falen’s Fund, for his daughter's education will be established.

Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. Fifth St., Gillette, WY 82716.

Condolences also may be expressed at gillettememorialchapel.com or attached to the obituary at gillettenewsrecord.com.

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