Kent, Wilton "Wilt" 67, of Oak Brook, died peacefully on Wednesday May 16 at Sunrise at Fountain Square. His devoted wife Aliona (Toni) was by his side. Wilt, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia in 2007, was valiant in his fight against both challenging diseases. Born in Jackson, Mississippi on June 11, 1944 to Daisy and Leo Kent, both who preceded him in death, Wilt has 5 siblings John, Marylee, Susie, Earl and Gloria. Wilt and his family re-located to Chicago in May 1953. He began his early education at Walter Scott Elementary School and attended Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. Upon graduation from CVS High School in 1962, Wilt enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served in the Vietnam War and earned several medals. Stationed in Congo, Africa and Okinawa, Japan, Wilt not only fought for his country, he played for the U.S.A.F. Basketball Team. Wilt completed his military service as Airmen First Class in 1967. Wilt began his lifelong career at Peoples Gas Company in 1968. He began working as a meter reader while attending Chicago Technical College in the evenings. He later received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and quickly moved up the corporate ladder within Peoples Gas. Valuing education Wilt continued to grow professionally while attending various Executive Leadership Programs at Northwestern, University of Michigan and Purdue University. He served on numerous business and civic boards. Wilt earned a host of professional honors before he retired from Peoples Energy in 2004. An avid tennis player and golfer, Wilt spent most of his leisure time at Chicago Prairie and Mid -town Tennis Clubs and Cog Hill Golf and Country Club. He played all over the United States and the world and earned various trophies and honors in both sports. Wilt was a smooth dancer and well-known for his stepping moves. He was a loving husband, father, grandpa and friend. He was a kind-hearted man who never met a stranger he didn't like. He was charming and always desired the best for himself, family and friends. Wilt was a proud member of The Original Forty Club of Chicago and earned the organization's distinguish "Man of the Year" honors in 2003. Wilt leaves to celebrate his life and to cherish his memory, a devoted wife of 15 years, Toni; his daughter, Cheri VK Brooks (Michael) and two step daughters, Kelly Killian (Keith) and Kari Smith (Marc Augustave); four grandsons, Michael and Matthew Brooks, David and Kevin Killian; his siblings; his loving aunts, Fannie Taylor and Mattie Ruth Anderson; and many caring nieces, nephews, cousins and a legion of friends. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday May 23 at Leak and Sons Funeral Home, 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60619. Family will received friends at 1 p.m. followed by the service at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Wilton Kent Scholarship Fund, c/o The Original Forty Cub of Chicago, 7248 S.Crandon, Chicago, Illinois 60649.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on May 22, 2012