Posted on: February 18, 2019
Well-known Anchorage physician and performing arts pioneer Robert Bocock Wilkins, 96, passed away November 10, 2018 at the Alaska Pioneer Home in Anchorage, Alaska. Robert was born in Lynchburg, Va., on October 6, 1922.
He received his MD in 1946 from the University of Virginia and interned at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Wash. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve active duty from 1947-1949. He came to Alaska on July 1, 1952. He was the 18th physician in Anchorage when the population was only 20,000 people. In 1953 he founded the Anchorage Medical Society. In 1955 he founded the Alaska Heart Association. Along with Dr. Howard Romig, he co-founded the Anchorage Medical and Surgical Clinic.
Robert met his wife-to-be, Marilyn Elizabeth North, in 1952 on a blind date in Anchorage. They were married on March 6, 1955. Marilyn passed away December 11, 2014. Their two children, Roberta Marie Wilkins Fraser and Lee Murray Wilkins, both reside in Anchorage, Alaska.
One of Alaska’s greatest pioneers for the performing arts for over 60 years, beginning in 1952, Dr. Wilkins joined the Anchorage Concert Association and donated his time and energies to bringing the world’s greatest music to Alaska. Highlights include bringing Isaac Stern, Van Cliburn, Marilyn Horne, Itzaak Perlman, and Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic, to Alaska at the height of their careers. He served on the board of the Anchorage Festival of Music and was one of the founders of the Anchorage Civic Opera. He worked tirelessly to raise much of the private funding for the Anchorage Performing Arts Center.
Robert is survived by his two children and three grandchildren.
Robert will join his wife Marilyn at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. They will rest together next to the historic 1915 John Parks burial site.