John Roy Wilkes III

Services were held August 21 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral for John Roy Wilkes III.

Roy Wilkes always said “life is for the living” and he lived his to the fullest. Roy died August 17 at the age of 81.

Born John Roy Wilkes III in Marshall, Texas, he spent most of his youth in Fort Worth and was graduated from Arlington Heights High School where, according to senior yearbook Wish List, his classmates wished they could all “Be like Roy Wilkes playing wide receiver.”

Roy went on to Texas A&M University, where he served in the Corp of Cadets and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering. At A&M, Roy orchestrated one of the most infamous pranks in school history, flooding his dorm’s basement and causing a crack in the building running from foundation to roof. No one was ever caught.

After graduation, Roy served in the United States Army Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1966. He then moved to Jackson in 1966, and founded the water and waste water instrumentation and control manufacturing firm Control Systems, Inc. in 1972. He served as president of the company until his death. For Roy, Control Systems was more than just a company with employees; it was his passion and he loved his employees like family. Roy was also an avid pilot, earning his license in 1979, and for the next three decades would fly his Beechcraft Sundowner to destinations across the country.

Roy loved Jackson, and was heavily involved with local organizations, arts and schools. He was a parishioner at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral, a long-time member of the Jackson Rotary Club, Quiet Birds, the Camelia Society, and the Jackson Prep Athletics Booster Club.  He was also a regular at the High Street Waffle House, where “Mr. Roy’s” order would be put on the grill the second their staff saw him pull into the parking lot.

Roy was preceded in death by his father John Roy Wilkes II; mother Marguerite Wilkes; sister Barbara Wilkes Henderson; and first wife Forrestine Robertson Wilkes.

He is survived by his wife Libba Wilkes, and son Ren Wilkes; daughters Alexandra Long and Britney Moss and their families, including six grandchildren: Lauren, Ava and Roy Wilkes; Abney and Benny Moss; and Elizabeth Long.

Roy had the ability to make anyone feel like family wherever he went. His kindness was contagious and his legacy will live on through all the lives he has touched throughout the years.

The family has asked memorials be made to the Jackson Prep Athletic Booster Club.