Cliff Wilkinson, 87, passed away this week after dedicating much of his life to the city of Mebane.
Wilkinson retired as assistant chief of the Mebane Police Department and was a Mebane city councilman for eight years, from 1991 to 1999.
“Cliff was really a councilman for the people,” said Bob Hupman, city councilman and lifetime friend of Wilkinson. Hupman worked alongside Wilkinson for both of Wilkinson’s two terms.
“His number one concern was the welfare of the people in Mebane. He was a people-oriented person and had a love of the city and the citizens.”
Wilkinson is survived by his wife, Mrs. Amanda Ferebee Wilkinson; his daughter, Carol Wilkinson Robertson; his sons Keith and Kirk; and four grandchildren, Blair Robertson, Brooke Robertson, Chad Wilkinson and Alanna Wilkinson.
He was born and raised in Mebane and left for four years to serve in the Air Force, including time in Japan right after V-J Day. On his return to Mebane, Wilkinson spent 10 years as an Alamance County sheriff’s deputy before joining the Mebane Police Department, where he worked for 20 years.
Wilkinson spent years as a city patrol officer, often seen walking the streets of downtown Mebane at night to make sure businesses were locked for the night.
In 1999, Wilkinson lost his seat on the city council but was honored with a plaque for his 28 years of dedication to the city of Mebane.
“I never thought it would get like this,” Wilkinson said about the changes to the city in a Times-News article the same month. “It’s changed but I still love it.”
“I think Cliff was very dedicated to the job of city council; he cared about the citizens of Mebane more than any city council person I ever met,” said Mebane City Council member Ed Hooks. “He was instrumental in a lot of the growth.”
Hooks continued, “He was willing to talk to his constituents; that is a very rare trait. He was very good at listening to the citizens of Mebane.”
In a council meeting in 2005, Wilkinson expressed his desire for new amenities in Mebane. “I am interested in seeing development coming to Mebane,” he said. “It brings changes, new faces, new ideals.”
Wilkinson’s funeral will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1 at the Mebane United Methodist Church and burial will be in Oakwood cemetery.
Wilkinson’s family will receive friends at the McClure Funeral Home in Mebane Saturday evening from 6 to 8 as well as during other times at the residence.