Cover photo for Dr. Richard T. Wilkins's Obituary
Dr. Richard T. Wilkins Profile Photo
1960 Dr. Wilkins 2024

Dr. Richard T. Wilkins

December 25, 1960 — March 1, 2024

College Station

Richard Thomas Wilkins was born on December 25, 1960 in Johnstown PA. He married Jonelle C. Smith on June 8, 1985 and had two children, daughter Rachel and son Benjamin. He has lived a happy life.

He received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Pittsburg in 1984, then PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan in 1990. He did his Post-Doc at Texas A&M University. He then worked at Prairie View A&M University for a long 33 years in the College of Engineering and had taught thousands of students over those years. His recent position was the Associate Dean of Research. He had served as the Director for the NASA Center for Applied Radiation Research and for the NASA Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration. He has earned numerous awards including Researcher of the Year, Excellence in Teaching, NASA Faculty Award for Research and Deans Award for Research. He has several patents and over 90 publications in research. He was a strong advocate for his students and for research and research opportunities for his students and colleagues at PVAMU. His academic legacy is prospering through numerous students that had earned their degrees in engineering with their bachelors, masters and PhD's, and his students have successful careers across the United States.

He taught Sunday school for years and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity as well. He was a Boy Scout Master for several years and enjoyed those times with his son Benjamin. He was an avid hockey player, #5 with the Novice Hockey League of College Station and enjoyed playing hockey with his children. He also enjoyed playing in hockey tournaments and keeping the score. He enjoyed taking his mom to his hockey games and to her church every Sunday. He was a connoisseur of beer and wrote thousands of informative reviews on beers. He loved Indian food from the farmer’s market and watching Star Trek.

He also enjoyed gliding across the dance floor with his beautiful wife. They took lessons in American Style Ballroom, Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, West Coast Swing, and Country two-step. He went to stretch class every Monday and Thursday with his wife and daughter. He and Rachel enjoyed discovering restaurants going on day trips, big trips, spending wonderful Father-Daughter time, for she was her Daddy’s little girl. He enjoyed going for dinner with his lovely wife and having beer with his dog Ralphie by his side.

He is known for his faith, humility, integrity, kindness, scientific rigor, generosity and willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need. He was the go-to man for so many. He is remembered by the many, who were blessed to know him and love him. He was the boss, advisor, teacher, mentor, friend, son, brother, husband, and father.

Richard is survived by his beloved wife, Jonelle, of 39 years; daughter, Rachel; son, Benjamin; his dog, Ralphie; sister, Rhonda; and his mother Janet.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Richard T. Wilkins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 8, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Hillier Funeral Home of College Station

4080 Texas 6 Frontage Rd, College Station, TX 77845

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

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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