Memory Hold The Door
William Walter Wilkins (1906–1995)
William Walter Wilkins was born August 22, 1906, Inman, South Carolina, son of William C. Wilkins and Laura Blackwood Wilkins. Attended Furman University, graduated 1928 with LBA degree and LLB cum laude 1929. Admitted to practice of law in South Carolina 1929. Began practice with law firm of Haynsworth & Haynsworth. Left Haynsworth firm within few years and set up own practice.
Married Evelyn Horton in 1940, thereupon beginning a commitment and devotion that grew to be the hallmark of his life. Four children were born of their marriage, three sons and one daughter: William Walter Wilkins, Jr., of Greenville, who serves currently as Judge of United States Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit; David Horton Wilkins of Greenville, currently serving as Speaker of S.C. House of Representatives; Nancy Wilkins Lyndon, of Anderson; and Robert Terrell Wilkins, physician in Denver, Colorado.
As he began to enjoy a successful law practice, war was declared following Pearl Harbor. Although above draft age, it posed no obstacle to his sense of duty and service. He promptly enlisted in United States Navy and served with distinction until end of the war. Returned to private law practice in Greenville in 1946 and founded the Wilkins Law Firm, now known as Wilkins & Madden. Walter Wilkins was known to be a highly respected and skilled lawyer. Intellectually, he had superior understanding of the law and its dynamics. However, it was his unflinching integrity and character that took him to the pinnacle of our profession.
His civic involvement was lifelong and his priorities were in the best order. His first devotion was to his wife and family, second to his church, and then to his profession and business career. His public service was outstanding and varied: Past Commander, Post #3 American Legion; Past Master, Walden Masonic Lodge; President, Furman Alumni Association; Benefactor, Greenville Technical College. In 1992 he was awarded one of highest honors South Carolinians can receive — the Order of the Palmetto.
We can pay no greater tribute to our friend William Walter Wilkins than by re-dedicating ourselves to those principles of honesty, integrity and unselfish service by which he lived every day — in the manner described by the Prophet Micah — to love mercy, to do justice, and to walk humbly with thy God.