He was born to Clare and Hazel Wilkes of Oregon, and received a doctoral degree from Oregon State University in 1966. Dr. Wilkes started his career at Northern Arizona University the same year, where he specialized in ichthyology, the study of fish, and parasitology. He retired from NAU in 1989.
Dr. Wilkes’ biannual field trips and summer marine biology program on the Sea of Cortez provided students with an ideal outdoor classroom, immersing them in the diversity and complexity of marine life. This approach proved to be valuable and memorable for his students. He was in his element in the field, where he lectured from the tidal flats and led nightly specimen collection gigging trips.
Dr. Wilkes was a veteran of World War II and served in the Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force. He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed gardening and was masterful at the game of chess. Dr. Wilkes was known as a kind and gentle man with a deep love for his family, marine life and a well-crafted joke.
He spent the last years of his life in South Carolina with his eldest daughter, Milla and her family. Dr. Wilkes is survived by his wife Pee-Yaw; three daughters; and sisters Carolyn Parpia and Kathleen Edgar.
Donations may be made in Stanley’s honor to the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans.