Mildred Naomi Wilkes, 79, of Smithfield, Utah, formerly of Afton, Wyoming, passed away on December 12, 2023, at Logan Regional Hospital. She was born on June 11, 1944, in Evansville, Indiana, to the late John Robert Payne and Verle Evelyn (Smith) Payne. She was the beloved wife of Dennis Barrus Wilkes.
Naomi grew up in Indiana and California. In California, she found a loving family and friends that took her in as their own. While with them, she discovered the LDS church and served a mission in Florida. She also served as a Sunday school teacher, counselor in Young Women’s, and a Stake Missionary.
Upon her return from her mission, she worked at Mobil Oil, where she met her husband Dennis B. Wilkes. They were married and moved to Star Valley and then on to Washington, where they adopted their daughter, Lucy Marie (Wilkes) Long. They were so happy to find Lucy she made their dreams come true. Dennis tragically passed away shortly after. So Naomi returned to Afton, Wyoming, where she worked as a Proof Operator for the Star Valley Bank, and made many dear friends.
Naomi had the opportunity to adopt yet another little girl. She and Lucy were ecstatic to welcome Brianna Elaine Wilkes into their family. She then retired shortly after to Cache Valley, Utah, where she met many more dear friends.
Naomi became ill on November 27, 2023, and fought hard to recover. Unfortunately, the Lord called her back home, and she returned to His loving embrace. We know she was very happy to be greeted by her loving husband, whom she missed dearly. She now also gets to enjoy her two grandbabies that she didn’t get the chance to in this life. She is surrounded by so many loved ones now, but she will be missed dearly by many on this side of the veil.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis Wilkes, parents John Robert Payne, Verle Evelyn (Smith) Payne, and Henery Foster Nicholes, Mary Nicholes, in-laws Murray M. Wilkes and Lucy B. Wilkes, and siblings: Ruby Payne Leslie, Sanders Eugene Payne, Richard Van Payne, Bud Payne, Emma Hernandez, Bruce Nicholes, Craig Nicholes. Naomi is survived by Lucy M. (Wilkes) Long (Daughter), her husband Keith V. Long, and their son Dennis V. Long. Grandson Scott J. Brianna Elaine Wilkes (Daughter) and partner Jared Michael Butler. She is also survived by her siblings: Jerry Lee Payne, Sheila Harch, Donna Robison, Sheila Hood.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 20th at 6:00 p.m. at the Nelson Funeral Home Chapel, 162 E 400 N in Logan. A viewing will be held prior from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Interment will be in the Afton City Cemetery the following day at 1199 Madison St., Afton, Wyoming (Graveside services are private to only family and invited friends of Afton Wyoming). Services are under the direction of Allen-Hall Mortuary.
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