Kirby Kimmel Wilks

31 Aug 1922 - 16 May 2012

Youngest child of Wm. Wesley Wilks & Erie Catherine Taylor




 Kirby Wilks & sister Myrl, 1925

 Kirby & Voy Wilks with nieces, nephew Editha & Laquita Wilks, Doris & Jerry Ross, Oct 1936

 Kirby K. Wilks, 1942



 Pvt. Kirby K. Wilks, in training, and with sharpshooter medal, 4 Jan 1943

His obituary in the Burnet Bulletin, May 30, 2012, read,

"WWII Veteran Gone to Rest"

WILKS, Kirby K., 89, died Wednesday, May 16, at home near Buda. He was survived by his wife of fifty years, Joyce Schoen Wilks, their seven children, Leland and wife Debra Wilks of Buda, Rhonda Wilks of Buda, Randal and wife Pam Wilks of Burnet, Curtis and wife June Wilks of Buda, Mary Ward Kramer and husband David of Lee's Summit, MO, Michael Ward of Buda, and Diane Ward Bounds and husband Mark of Buda; fourteen grandchildren Brian and Wayne Wilks, Amy Wilks Coleman of Buda; Cole and Tully Wilks of Burnet; Chelsea and Will Wilks of Buda; Christopher and Carly Ward Chase of Buda; Cole, and Lexi Kramer of MO; J.D. and Trent Bounds of Buda; six great-grandchildren; one sister, Myrl Wilks McLean of Friendswood; and numerous nieces and nephews. His nephews Don Wilks and Jerry Ross live at Burnet. He was preceded in death by his parents, W. W. Wilks and Erie Taylor Wilks; his first wife Rita Merle Stroud; brothers Karl, Vane, Dale, and Voy Wilks; and sister Reta Ross Howell of Burnet. Kirby was a faithful member of Bluebonnet Lane Church of Christ in Austin.

Kirby was born August 31, 1922, near Loop, Gaines County, moved to Burnet County in 1924 to the Uncle Bill Fry log house at Council Creek, later lived at Pebble Mound, attended Council Creek, Pebble Mound, and Lake Victor schools; and moved to Dublin in December 1938, where he completed high school. Kirby had three children when he and Joyce married, a widow with three children; and they had one son Curtis. Their 50th anniversary would have been June 10. He was a horseman, carpenter retired from Brown & Root, and farmer.

A veteran of World War II, he served in the 71st Infantry Division in France, Germany, and Austria and joined Patton’s Third Army crossing the Rhine River, as a medic and truck driver, penetrating farther east than any other U.S. combat unit.

Pall bearers were his grandsons and burial was at Live Oak Cemetery, Manchaca, Travis County.  

Kirby graduated from Dublin High School either in 1941 or 1942 and was farming with his father and brother Voy (an essential occupation) when drafted into the Army in November 1942, he was inducted at Abilene, TX.

After basic training in Mississippi and training as a medic at Camp Carson, Colorado, when in July 1943 the famous 71st Light Division was organized with 9,000 personnel and 1,800 mules as a mountain division. Transportation was the Army mule and troops were trained in mountain and jungle warfare. It had no motorized vehicles. It was reorganized in June 1944 as a mechanized triangular 71st Infantry Division with 15,700 personnel. This conversion took place at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Division arrived in France in Feb 1945 and saw immediate combat in one town or province after another, breaching the Maginot and Siegfried Lines on March 14. With the Rhine River crossing into Germany on March 23, the 71st Infantry Division joined Patton's Third Army for crossing Germany and advanced into Austria on May 4. Its river crossings were the Main, Naab, Rhine, Danube, Regen, Isar, Inn, and Ennis.

They liberated the concentration camps of Straubing and Gunskirchen in Germany and more than 80 smaller camps in Austria -- a traumatic, horrifying experience. He said the first concentration camp they came to was a POW camp, where he saw skeletal men he had trained with. He was a medic but wrote to his brother Vane early in 1946 that he had mostly been a truck driver. Said he had wanted to go to Birchtesgaden, the mountain retreat of Hitler, but couldn't get enough gasoline to go there. The main thing he wanted, he said, was to get home to the precious ones there and help his parents on the farm; had saved as much money as he could to be able to help at home.

The 71st Infantry Division penetrated farther east than any other U.S. combat unit and accepted the surrender of the German Army Group South on May 7, 1945, one day prior to V.E. Day, after a total rout of the German Sixth SS Division Nord. Total days in combat were 45. Kirby wrote that he was mostly a truck driver. He returned home when the Division was deactivated March 11, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. The Third Army conquered more than 82,000 sq. mi. of territory and captured in battle 956,000 enemy and killed or wounded over 500,000 others.




 Kirby and paint horse, 1941






 Kirby and his mother Erie Taylor Wilks, 1942

 Kirby & sister Myrl




 1948-1949 Kirby and his dog Shep

Kirby horseback, 1942



Kirby breaking & training horses, summer 1960

Md. (2nd) Joyce Schoen Ward (a widow with 3 children), 10 Jun 1962, daughter of



 Kirby Wilks & bride Joyce Schoen Ward, 10 Jun 1962

Wilks Family in attendance: Douglas & Don Wilks, Joy MCLean, Karl Wilks, Reta Ross, Cora Wilks, Joyce & Kirby, Myrl & Blake McLean



Their blended family ~ Kirby holding Diane Ward, Joyce, Leland, Randal, Rhonda Wilks, Mike & Mary Ward, 1963




Mike Ward, Randal & Leland Wilks, Mary Ward, Rhonda Wilks, Curtis Wilks, Joyce, Kirby, Diane Ward, & Myrl McLean, Nov 1967




 Curtis & June Wilks, 4 July 1988 (Voy on side)

 Kirby, Joyce, Curtis, Debbie, Leland, Brian, Amy, Wayne, Rhonda


 Kirby & sister Myrl, May 1994

  Joyce & Kirby, 25 May 1998



 Kirby on right front, Joyce to his left, and their family 1996



 Brothers, Voy & Kirby, 2003




Kirby with daugher Rhonda, niece Doris, Thanksgiving 1977

 Beth Wilks Maynard & her uncle Kirby Wilks, at Wilks Reunion, 25 May 2010

Continued, next page

  • More W. W. Wilks Family Pictures
  • B. C. Wilks Family Reunions 1947-
  • W. W. Wilks Family Reunions
  • B. C. Wilks Family Pictures
  • George C. Wilks Family Pictures
  • Claude Rivers Wilks Family Pictures
  • W. W. Wilks Children Pictures: Karl, Vane, Reta, Dale, Myrl, Voy, Kirby
  • Descendants of B. C. Wilks
  • Parents of B. C. Wilks
  • Wilks-Taylor Family, 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Taylor-Bartleson Family
  • Jewel & C. J. "Buck" Taylor
  • Descendants of F. S. Taylor, Pedigree-ancestry of F. S. Taylor

    Botkin-Smith Family, Knatzer/Knortzer/Canatser Family

    Pictures of B. C. Wilks Family

    to Table of Contents