Youngstown……….A memorial service will be held at 3:30pm, Saturday, Aug. 11th, at the Wasko Funeral Home , 216 Coitsville Road in Campbell, for Jonathan L. Wilkins, 50, who died Sunday, July 29, at home in Youngstown, after a five-year struggle with cancer.
Jonathan was born March 7, 1968 in Asheville, North Carolina, a son of Brenda J. Wilkins. His family moved to Youngstown when he was an infant, and he was a lifelong resident.
Jonathan graduated from East High School in 1986 where he was known for his vocal talent and was a featured soloist in many school choir and drama productions.
For his Bachelor of Arts degree from Youngstown State University, he had a double major in Religious Studies and Vocal Music. He was on the Dean’s List for five quarters. While working on his bachelor’s degree at YSU, he sang numerous leading roles in operas presented by the Dana School of Music. He was a member of Dana Chorale. In 1995, he won First Place in the Concerto Aria Contest, awarded by the Dana School of Music, YSU. In both 1994 and 1995, he won the Giorgio Tozzi Vocal Scholarship, awarded by the Dana School of Music. In 1997, he had the lead role of Che in the musical Evita, presented by the YSU Theater Department. In 1999, he won second place in the Annual Essay Contest, awarded by the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
Following his BA degree, he received his Master of Science degree in Education with a major in Community Counseling from YSU. During his work on his MS, he was a Graduate Assistant to Dr. Don Martin in the Counseling Department. With Dr. Martin, he worked on the21st Century Grant’s After-School Program for Alternative School Children, a joint project between YSU and Youngstown City Schools. He was a co-presenter, with Dr. Martin, in the fall of 2004 of “Creating Success for African-American Male Students: During and After School Programs” at the All Ohio Counselors Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
After passing his Ohio State exams, he received his Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Supervisor’s license.
Jonathan retired with disability in early 2017 from Neil Kennedy Recovery Center where he was Men’s Therapist (Counselor). His work there included individual, group, and family counseling of men and women with addictions as well as supervision of interns.
While at NKRC, he received the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award “for being an exemplary leader, mentor and role model for Kent State University College of Nursing students and preparing them for a professional career in nursing.”
Jonathan leaves his wife Marilyn DeSalvo, of Youngstown; his mother Brenda Wilkins Stewart (stepfather James) of Youngstown; his brother William Wilkins of Strongsville, OH; his stepbrothers James C. Stewart and Clifford Stewart (Rhonda) and his stepsister, Jacinta Stewart, all of Youngstown; his sister-in-law Jeane Bruton (John) of Victor, MT and his sister-in-law Carolyn Dortch, of Hamilton, MT; his aunt Shelia Smith (Jeffery) of Akron, OH; his aunt Rebecca Suber of Asheville, NC; his aunt Diana Baker of Spindale, NC; his uncle Howard Wilkins of Richmond, VA; and his uncle, David Wilkins (Betty)of Richmond, Va. He also leaves numerous cousins.
Jonathan was preceded in death by an infant son, Jonathan Lamont, Jr.; his grandmother Lucille Kelly; his grandfather Howard Wilkins; his step-grandfather Hazel Kelly; his father and mother-in-law, Lee and Betty Dortch; his uncle Steve Wilkins; his aunt Maurice Wilkins; his uncle Theodore Baker; and his stepbrother James L. Stewart, Jr.
Friends may call on Saturday from 2:00 until the time of the service at 3:30 P.M. at the Wasko Funeral Home, 216 Coitsville Road, in Campbell, OH.
Jonathan’s family wishes to thank the staff at Cleveland Clinic, as well as the staff of Hospice of the Valley in Youngstown, OH for their compassionate care.
Family requests that in lieu of flowers, commemoration take the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.