Harold Wiley Shilk Jr., 77, entered into eternal peace on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Harold was born Sept. 23, 1943 to the late Harold W. Shilk, Sr. and Ivory Bradley Shilk in Houston. He attended Clear Creek High School until his family moved to El Campo where they owned and operated the Jones Motel. He graduated from El Campo High School in 1961.
From there, he attended A&M University for one year, before taking an opportunity to work at Cameron Iron Works and Olsen Food Company. While working in Houston he joined the National Guard.
In 1966, he married Judy Barr at First Presbyterian Church in El Campo. He continued his college education along with his wife at Sam Houston State University where he earned a Bachelors in History and Geography and played on the tennis team. He was chosen to be a teaching assistant in the history and geography departments where he earned his master’s degree.
After graduation, Harold and Judy moved to Brenham for 10 years where he was a history and geography professor and a tennis coach for Blinn Junior College.
He moved to Wharton to teach history and geography at Wharton County Junior College and was also the tennis and volleyball coach for 26 years until his retirement. He had 777 volleyball wins throughout his career and his teams advanced to national play five times.
Harold attended Civil War seminars at the University of Virginia in the summers. He also was a professor at Houston Baptist University during several summer sessions.
Harold loved to travel and go on summer vacations with his family. Often times, these trips included historical sites along the way. He liked to plant a garden and definitely had a green thumb. Harold had a God given talent for singing and enjoyed singing hymns in church.
Harold had a gift for making people feel like they could accomplish anything they set their minds to. Whether it was his family, students, or athletes he always encouraged them. One of the things he enjoyed doing after his retirement was driving out to the family farm to check on his cattle.
He was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Wharton where he served on the vestry and as junior warden as well as working with outreach.
Harold was formerly active in the Wharton Lions Club where he served a term as president.
Harold is survived by his wife Judy; daughters: Rachel Ondrias (Gavin), and Samantha Cockerham (Casey); four grandchildren: Kane Ondrias, Molly Ondrias, Donovan Cockerham, and Daxton Cockerham; brother Danny Shilk (Jean); nephew Todd Shilk (Becky); niece Erin Walker (Jon); three great-nephews; and two great-nieces.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Wharton in memory of Harold.