WILKINSON, ETHEL CLARA FOSS died peacefully at the age of 84 in the presence of her children on May 7, 2019 at Metairie Healthcare Center in Metairie, LA. She was born on July 10, 1934 and was raised in the Irish Channel, New Orleans, LA. She resided in Metairie, LA with her family for the past 59 years.
Ethel is survived by her devoted and caring children and their spouses - Kathy Wilkinson Keogh (John), Sheila Wilkinson Palmisano (AJ), and William Edward Wilkinson, Jr (Lynn Pentney); her loving grandchildren - Lauren Kaye Palmisano, Ryan Anthony Palmisano (Kristin Ballard), and Hayley Lynn Wilkinson; her beautiful great-grandchildren - Cody Jade Palmisano, Krista Marie Palmisano, Caston Rhodes Palmisano, and Ellison Ryan Palmisano (arriving in July, 2019) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Ethel is preceded in death by her beloved husband William “Bill” Edward Wilkinson, Sr., her wonderful sister Williemae Foss Nuss, her loving parents William Clarence Foss, II and Thelma Branigan Foss, and her sweet baby brother William Clarence Foss, III.
Ethel worked at Maison Blanche prior to marrying Bill on November 28, 1953. When Bill returned to school to further his studies, Ethel took a job with Bell South to help with expenses. Once Bill got a job with the Department of Agriculture, she became a devoted stay-at-home mother to her three children until they became teenagers. She returned to Bell South and worked for many years as a directory assistance operator by the name of “Kay”. At the age of 55 years, she retired from South Central Bell to enjoy life and to spend time with her family.
Ethel was born to shop. She would spend all hours of the day searching for that perfect gift. She loved to decorate for the holidays and special occasions. She took extra pride in decorating at the Pioneer luncheons. Ethel was very creative and she strived for perfection. Her favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day and she looked forward to partying and dancing at Parasols each year. Ethel was a huge Saints fan, true black and gold. She and Bill shared their love for dancing and this was evident at weddings and parties. On the dance floor, they could be found second lining or sweeping the floors to the likes of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” as well as all the other Big Band Orchestra music of the 1950s.
Ethel made sure she was always available for her grandchildren. She transported them to doctors visits, sports games/practices, dance classes, etc. She was everyone’s cheerleader!
Ethel was unique! From her cat-eye glasses, to the perfect hair do, to the earrings that totally matched her outfit, she was one of a kind. She will surely be missed by all who loved her and had the pleasure of being in her presence.
The three musketeers have finally been reunited. Bill, Ethel, and Williemae were very close and almost inseparable. They were the sweetest, most unselfish and most kind individuals you would ever want to meet. Other people’s needs always came first. The family was very blessed to have them all in their lives.
The family would like to send a very special thank you to the wonderful care givers at Metairie Healthcare Center and Lakeside Hospice. You truly made Mom feel at home and loved.
Please join us on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 10am – 1pm at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home to celebrate Ethel’s life. Be brave and wear a little bit of green for the Irish, black & gold for the Saints, or turquois, Ethel’s favorite color. We will be Second Lining from the funeral home to the burial site, so be sure to bring your umbrella!
In lieu of flowers, we would appreciate a donation made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, www.alzfdn.org, Metairie Healthcare Center www.metairiehc.com, or Lakeside Hospice, www.lakesidehospicela.com in honor of Ethel Wilkinson.
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