Irene Wilkey, 82, of Sylva went home to be with the Lord, Sunday morning, Oct. 4, 2020.

A native and lifelong resident of Jackson County, she was the daughter of the late George and Elsie Wilkey.

Irene was a member of Dicks Creek Baptist Church. She had a passion and talent for playing the piano ever since she was 13 years old and had played at several local churches. She enjoyed cooking and working with her flowers and loved spending time with her family. 

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brothers, Marshall and Charles Wilkey; and by her sister, Georgia Ensley.

She is survived by her husband, the love of her life for 62 years, William Wilkey; two daughters, Debbie (Bill) Stepp of Sylva, Teresa (Lowell) Rhoades of Balsam; son, Gary Wilkey of Sylva; four grandchildren, Misty (Kevin) Cope of Bryson City, Melissa (Steve) Pressley of Franklin, Mica Wilkey of Franklin and Marissa Early of Sylva; four great-grandchildren, Madison (Kevin) Vernon of Franklin, Miranda Cope of Bryson City, Maddox and Mayson Early of Sylva; brother, Harold (Ruth) Wilkey of Sylva. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

A private family service will be held today (Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020).