• 91°

Thurston Euzema Wilkes II

The mercurial Thurston Euzema Wilkes II, M.D., 75, passed away peacefully at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford at 2:13 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, under a bright full moon. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Rev. John Semmes officiating. Visitation will begin at 12:00 Noon prior to the service in West Hall at the funeral home. A private family interment will take place at a later date.

He was born in Cleveland, Miss., on Oct. 19, 1941, to Lucille and Thurston Wilkes Sr., and raised in Picayune. He grew to love the outdoors and riding horses and camping at Red Bluff, and developed a fascination with cars. Thurston graduated from Picayune High School in 1959 and attended Ole Miss at Oxford, where he was a member of the SAE fraternity. He finished his undergraduate work at Millsaps College, and received his M.S. and M.D. at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he met his beautiful wife Ginger. He received his urology training at LSU Medical Center-Shreveport, where he served as chief resident. Thurston practiced urology in Oxford for over 35 years and was a compassionate physician, of whom his patients spoke highly. During his career, he served as chief of staff and chief of surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. He was instrumental in starting the annual Christmas tradition at the hospital of doctors donating to the local pantry and toy drive for children in need. Nothing made him happier than giving gifts.

Thurston was a loving husband to Ginger, father to Tad and Carter, and grandfather to Carter and Alice, whose greatest gifts to his children were humor, a sense of wonder, a disdain for small talk, and the satisfaction of putting words together just right. He wore his heart on his sleeve and always cut to the chase. He loved to drive fast, laugh, and tell dirty jokes with impeccable timing. Thurston’s specialty in life was fun. His personality was a mixture of Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, and George Carlin — with a healthy dose of Steve McQueen. Thurston was hell on wheels and a master storyteller. He was the funniest man in the room and also the grouchiest. In the late 1960s and ‘70s, he was an enduro (off-road) dirt bike racer, along with younger brother Rodney, and later enjoyed traveling the country with friends on touring motorcycles. His sons will always cherish days spent riding with him in his Bronco through the woods. They never got stuck.

He will be remembered by just one name: Thurston. The world will never see, nor tolerate, another.

Thurston is predeceased by his parents, Lucille and Thurston Sr. and too many beloved dogs to count and survived, in every sense of the word, by wife Ann “Ginger” Broom Wilkes of Oxford; sons, Thurston, III (“Tad”) and his wife Amy Wilkes and their daughters Carter and Alice of Oxford, and son Carter of Oxford; brother, Rodney Wilkes of Picayune, and nephew Marcus and niece Stacey Love; and dogs Rupert and Martha Stewart.

Memorial contributions in Dr. Wilkes’ memory may be made to the Pantry, P.O. Box 588, Oxford, MS 38655, the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, 413 McElroy Drive, Oxford, MS 38655 or the Oxford Medical Ministries, 205 Commerce Cove, Oxford, MS 38655.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit www.wallerfuneralhome.com or call 662-234-7971.