Payton Wilkin

Payton Wilkin
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Payton J. Wilkin, 21, of Belleville, IL, born June 10, 1994, in St. Louis, MO, died Sunday, January 24, 2016, in Belleville, IL.

A 2012 graduate of BTHS East, Payton was pursuing a degree in criminal justice at Southwestern Illinois College.  He was the director of the Extended School Program at Belle Valley School, where he touched the lives of many.  In October 2015, he became a full-time dispatcher for Cencom 911 to serve the lives of many.

Payton was an active firefighter with the East Side Volunteer Fire Department and a past member of St. Clair County Explorer Post 555.  He enjoyed four-wheeling and spending time with family and friends at “the clubhouse”.

Payton’s big smile, compassionate heart, and strong desire to help others may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.  Through the donor program, his eyes will continue to see the good in the world through another.

Payton was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Richard and Iola Wilkin; and great-grandparents, William and Dorothy Isselhardt.

Surviving are his loving parents, Rick and Deanna, nee Koderhandt, Wilkin,
and his dear sister, Paige M. Wilkin, all of Belleville, IL;
his maternal grandparents, Dave and Donna Koderhandt;
uncles and aunts, Daryl and Carrie Koderhandt,     Denise Feld,
Don and Denise Wilkin, Lori and Ray Walker,
and John and Stephenie Wilkin;
cousins, Darcie Feld, Dalton and Drake Koderhandt,
Ryan and Donelle Wilkin, Danielle Wilkin,
Melissa (Eric) Gibson, and Craig (Brianna) Walker;
other extended family members;
his brothers and sisters of the East Side Volunteer Fire Department and of Cencom 911;
many dear friends;
and his best friend and four-legged buddy, Chief.

Payton’s family would like to thank all those who have helped them through this very difficult tragedy during the last few days and would appreciate your continued prayers.

Memorials may be made to the East Side Volunteer Fire Department.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 28, 2016, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 29, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 29, at the church with Father James Thomas officiating.

Condolences Left For Payton Wilkin

I hope in time you will read all the wonderful FB posts. There are such resounding words like: loving, kind, big hearted, always there for me, caring, makes me smile, makes me laugh. He was loved by many, will be missed by many, remembered always. May God bless you and keep you close. Love, Pam Kniepkamp

Pam Kniepkamp, Belleville, Illinois, 62221

My deepest condolences to the entire Wilkin Family. Payton was so sweet, so caring, and had a smile that was so infectious. His laugh could make anyone smile. Mr. Wilkin took great care of Aubrey from Kindergarten and then had the pleasure of having her brother. We were missing him so much when he left Belle Valley, there was not a dry eye in the building. He spoke so highly of my daughter and she looked up to him. I just want the family to know that Payton was a wonderful man and will be missed terribly. I will be thinking about everyone. Big hugs to Ms. Wilkin from the Flowers……

Amber, Aubrey, Amarey, Belleville, Illinois, 62220

Payton took such wonderful care of our children in the ESP program. He was always smiling and always so pleasant and polite. We missed seeing him daily when dropping off and picking up our children when he left the program last October. It was a joy watching him grow up from the time we met him when he was assisting in the ESP program, to when he left as the director. But one thing that never changed during that time was his smile and the friendly manner about him. Payton was admired and cherished and will be missed by so many. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to all of Payton’s family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Derrek, Danielle, Cori, Shawn and Lanie, Belleville, Illinois, 62221

I worked with Payton at Belle Valley for four years. He not only was my boss, but he became one of my best friends. He saw potential in me and encouraged me to reach for the stars. Our friendship only grew stronger when he told me he was leaving Belle Valley to work as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. His dedication as a volunteer firefighter truly inspired me. He touched the lives of so many, especially the children, parents, and his coworkers at Belle Valley. I will forever cherish the memories I had with him. My deepest condolences to the Wilkin family. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Emily Argo , Belleville , IL, 62221

Payton and I met our freshman year of high school. I never would have thought that I would spend almost every day with him for 4 straight years. My love for Payton was and still is indescribable. He had the biggest heart in the world. His smile could light up any room he was in. I could never have asked for a better friend. He soon became a brother to me. And his family became mine. Deanna and Rick opened their home to me 24/7 and I could never be more thankful. I began to know this family as I knew my own. They were always there for me. And Payton was always there when I needed him. I grew with him so much. I will always miss him. I have always held a special place in my heart for him. Heaven gained a beautiful angel. Too soon, but soon we will meet again Payton. I love you.

Kayla Mahoney , Belleville , Illinois ,

Aloud to God I cry; aloud to God, to hear me;
on the day of my distress, I seek the Lord.
By night my hands are stretched out without flagging;
my soul refuses comfort.

, , ,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling and I pray to God you find some comfort during this trying time in your lives. Take care and hope you all find peace and comfort as you deal with this tradgedy. God Bless.

Lisa Vocelka nee Poe , Shiloh, il, 62221

So what happened?

Zac Emler, Belleville, Il, 62223

For the short time I knew Payton the memories he has given me and his co-workers will last forever. His smile, his politeness, and his overall professional altitude is one that you wish could instill in others. It was clear to me when I first met him for his job interview that he came from an outstanding family. I know as the days , weeks and years come upon all of us it will be tough not having him to make his friends and extended family members laugh, and it will be sad times for many. I assume you that at CENCOM 9-11 where he was truly loved by all his co-workers that he has left us with beautiful memories that will never be forgotton. Each of them have lost a dear friend, and there is no way any of us can feel the pain the family is going through. As a team of his fellows co-workers we will make the short time we had with Payton last a lifetime for us all.

Herb Simmons, East.Catobdelet, Illinois, 62240

My condolence goes out to you and the entire Wilkin and Koderhandt Family.
Gone To Soon
Sorry for your loss.
My heart is broken for you.
My Payton soul rest in peace.
Love you my sister.

Serieta Jane Floyd, St. Louis, MO, 63136

Our deepest sympathy to the family and prayers for peace. We did not know Payton, but the friendship and community that the Koderhandt family shares here in Smithton tells us that he came by integrity honestly. There are no words to relieve the pain, but we pray that peace will calm you in the months ahead. He IS in the peace of Heaven now, and you will see him again one day.

Scott and Candice Przybysz family, Smithton, Illinois, 62285

Praying for strength and peace for you all at this difficult time.
Coach Posey

, Ofallon, Illinois, 62269

Deanna, my heart goes out to you, Rick, Paige and all of your family on the loss of Payton. My prayers are with you all.

Michelle Taylor, Belleville , IL, 62220

He was my little piece of heaven, right here on earth…..

Payton you will be truly missed for your smile and so many gifts you had in your heart and was so willing to share.

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Payton did all these things and more! My deepest condolences for the entire family.

Jacqueline Jackson, East Saint Louis, Illinois, 62203

May your memories of Payton and the love of your family surround you and give you strength and peace in the days ahead.

Tracey Vernier, Mascoutah, ,

Sending out prayers to the Wilkins family. We are praying that the good memories you have of Payton will someday help with the pain in your hearts. God Bless you all in your time of need.

Mike & Kathy Reynolds , Millstadt , IL, 62260

My heart goes out to Payton’s family and friends.. I lost my 18 year old son 5 years ago the same way. Please find solace in knowing he is no longer in earthly pain and is with the Angels… I will keep you in my prayers and my heart as we walk this journey together… I Am so very sorry for your loss…

Joyce Coulter, Wildwood, Mo – Belleville, IL, Mo, 63011

To my dearest family, some things I’d like to say…
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there’s no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I’m with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, “I welcome you.”

It’s good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they’ll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you’re part of my plan.
There’s so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day’s chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to you….in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn’t understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o’er.
I’m closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you too…
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who’s in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night……”My day was not in vain.”
And now I am contented….that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you’re walking down the street, and you’ve got me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it’s time for you to go…. from that body to be free,
remember you’re not going…’re coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998

Tammy and Patrick Walters , Swansea, Illinois , 62226

Rick, Deanna, Paige,

I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words. I read this poem at my nephews funeral. Another young man gone too soon. You can shed tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him

Or you can be full of the love that you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he is gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on. May you find peace.

Monica Holtmann , Belleville, Il , 62221

Rick & Deanna- My heart breaks for you. Words can’t express how sorry I am for this tragic loss to your family. Prayers of strength and solace to you all. Laura

Laura Stowers, Collinsville, IL, 62234

Deanna and Rick,
Sometimes we don’t understand why bad things happen to us, but remember the good times, not just this time.

Nancy Keiser, Kirkwood, Missouri, 63122

I am so very sorry for your loss, your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie Burton, Webster Groves , MO, 63119

I was so saddened to hear of Payton’s passing. I was one of his seventh grade teachers. What an amazing young man! Always sweet, kind, helpful and never a mean thing to say. He was a gem! He is gone way too soon, but his life made such an impression on so many people. He touched our hearts and we will never forget him. My sincerest sympathy to he family. I pray that God wraps you all in his loving embrace, and provides comfort and peace.

Peggy Gasparich, OFallon, Il., 62269

One of my fondest memories of Payton was when it began to rain late in the evening, when he remembered his sun roof to his car may have been left open, so he gets up out of bed to go outside and check on it. In this instance he noticed someone trying to break in to my vehicle and chased them off on foot as far as he could. He then immediately came to knock on my door to let me know what had just happened. I felt so grateful and safe knowing he and his family were my neighbors. Trust me, the apple does not fall far from the tree. The Wilkin family has done many great things for me including watching my home while I was deployed to the Middle East for a few years. Sometimes on deployment you wonder if someone is watching out for you back home. I found solace in knowing the entire Wilkin family was there for me. Thank-you God for such wonderful friends and human beings. May God bless Payton and his entire family. With deepest sympathy, Theresa.

Theresa Canchola, Kenmore, WA, 98028

My heart is broken. I am so sorry to hear that he has gone. Praying for all of you. He is smiling down on us now.

Jonel and Garrett Neely, Gainesville, Fl, 32606

So sorry for the loss of your loved one. Wishing the entire family peace and comfort at this sad time.

Michelle Pfershy, Red Bud, IL, 62278

Deanna, Rick and Paige,
Our hearts broke when we heard the news about the loss of Payton. May you find strength in God, your memories, family and friends to help you through this journey. I know Payton was one of the lights of your life and may his warmth and smile continue to be with you all. Our continued thoughts and prayers

Peggy, Brian, Krystina, Courtney & Rachael, Mt. Olive, Illinois, 62069

I can’t find the words to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. I can’t even imagine what you’re all going through. Please know I’m thinking of your family and praying continuously for you. May God wrap you in his loving arms and heal the pain and grief you’re going through now. I do believe you will see him again someday. God bless all of you……..

Sandy Sinclair, St. Louis, MO, 63110

My condolences to your family, may God be with you during this time. No words come even close to I’m sorry for your loss. Hang on to your happy moments and never let them go.

Tucomi Vargo, New Baden, IL, 62265

Dear Deanna, Rick and Paige,
My most heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beautiful son and brother, Payton. May his light always shine bright in your heart and the memory of loving kindness comfortable you in the days ahead.

Colleen Signorelli, St. Louis, MO, 63132

Rick and Deanna,
I am so sorry. Prayers and thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Cheryl Korobey, , ,

Deanna and Rick, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” – Matt. 5:4

Peggy Hennen, St. Louis , MO, 63129


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