TYLER — Lea Ann Wilkerson McKnight lost her four-year battle with cancer and joined her precious Jesus on April 3, 2021. She passed away peacefully with her husband Harry holding her hand. A memorial service will be held on a later date at Pleasant Retreat United Methodist Church, 417 CR 1143, Tyler Texas 75704. The date for the memorial service will be posted on Facebook.
Lea was born October 9, 1952 in Tyler, Texas to Neoma and Fred Wilkerson. She lived her entire life in Tyler, graduating from John Tyler High School in 1971. Lea was a lifelong member of Pleasant Retreat United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Friendship Sunday School Class. She retired in 2017 as Human Resources and payroll director for James E. Smith Petroleum Engineering Firm.
The song “You’ve Got A Friend” was a perfect description of Lea. She was always there to lend a hand whether you asked for her help or not and she had a sense of knowing when to call or be in the right place to help. Lea was beautiful, caring, kind, and sweet to a fault. She was lovingly called “the angel of Tyler” by her family and friends. Her family benefited most from her generosity and thoughtfulness.
Lea was preceded in death by her parents, Neoma and Fred Wilkerson; her mother and father-in-law, Sue and Sam McKnight; her nephew, Dustin Lowe; and her beloved dog, Dude.
Lea is survived by her loving family including her husband of 49 years, Harry; her two sons, Adam McKnight and wife Nicole, and Grant McKnight and wife Valerie; and four grandchildren, Max, Neoma, Rex and Vix McKnight. She is also survived by her four devoted sisters and best friends, Sandy Lowe, Gail Haas, Jenny Lawrence, and Becky Tanner; her aunts, Dona Wilkerson, Billie Wilkerson, and Louise Wilkerson; ten nieces and nephews who adored their Aunt Lea; and numerous cousins, including her “double cousins” who she loved as siblings, Patty Worsham and Alan Wilkerson.
If desired, memorials may be made in Lea’s honor to the Advent Wreath Fund at Pleasant Retreat United Methodist Church, 417 CR 1143, Tyler Texas 75704.