Cover photo for Peter Wilkins's Obituary
Peter Wilkins Profile Photo
1942 Peter 2023

Peter Wilkins

November 9, 1942 — November 7, 2023


Peter Ernest Frederick Wilkins, age 80, of Kalamazoo, passed away peacefully on November 7, 2023, at Bronson Hospital, following a valiant five-year fight against cancer.

Pete was born on November 9, 1942, in Bay City, Michigan, to the late Frederick and Loretta (Schmidt) Wilkins. Pete’s father, a minister, moved the family to Buchanan, Michigan, when Pete was four years old, where he attended school, graduating from Buchanan High School in 1961. He played trumpet in the high school marching band, and was in the school Golf and Model Airplane Clubs. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business.

Pete remained in Kalamazoo, first driving for Mall City Ambulance, then in December, 1972, becoming a Deputy Sheriff in Kalamazoo County, a position he held with honor until his retirement in 2007.
A dedicated officer, during his 34-year career he worked jail and road duty, transport and security, and was a lifelong member of the FOP.

For years, Pete volunteered as an usher and greeter at Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo, and with his wife, Chris, was involved in the Michigan Lutheran Marriage Encounter ministry, serving in a variety of positions. He loved to volunteer at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo before illness forced him to quit.

Pete loved camping, bowling, softball and golf. With a lifelong interest in cars, his knowledge and mechanical ability were amazing. He was a proud member of the Kalamazoo Corvette Club for over 25 years, and spent twenty years restoring a classic 1962 ‘Vette to pristine condition.

Pete loved traveling both in the States and Europe, and especially enjoyed visiting Italy and Germany, as well as many places in the U.S.

His passion was flying, beginning with gas powered model planes, then “graduating” to owning and flying an ultralight plane for almost twenty years. A member of the Alamo Air Force, the highlight of his week was their weekly flyout to various small airports.

Family always came first in his life. Pete was there for his children’s Little League games, soccer games, concerts, recitals, plays; anything in which his children and grandchildren participated. He could be relied on to help out when and where needed.

Surviving Pete are his wife of 45 years, Christine, son Andrew (Lindzy) Wilkins, daughter Amy (Steve) Ball, and three granddaughters, Adalee, Cora and Freya Wilkins. Also surviving are two sisters, Pamela (Bruce) Hanson and Patricia (Kenneth) Wallquist, nieces and nephews Kenneth (Amy) Wallquist, Lisa (Philip) Plischke, Rebecca Hanson (Aaron Spivacek), Jennifer (Michael) Montoya, Alexandra (William) King and James Utley, and several great-nieces and -nephews.

A memorial service will be held December 2, 2023 at 11:30 a.m., at Zion Lutheran Church, 2122 Bronson Blvd., Kalamazoo, MI 49008, with Pastor Michael Saylor officiating. Friends may gather from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

Donations may be made in Pete’s memory to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard, the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be left online at

To order memorial trees in memory of Peter Wilkins, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Saturday, December 2, 2023

10:00 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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