Former Christian County Jailer Joe “Jocko” Wilkins died Saturday from natural causes at the age of 81.
Wilkins began his career a deputy for his mother, Mary Witherspoon Wilkins, when she was city jailer. He later served as deputy for Christian County Jailer Malcolm “Bugs” Pritchett and took the top job when Pritchett resigned in early 1974.
Jocko Wilkins oversaw construction of a new jail inside an existing building at Fifth and Weber streets downtown, instituted standard operating procedures at the jail and obtained federal contracts to ease financial strains on the county.
When he resigned for health reasons in 1984, he told the late WHOP News Director Jim Love that he served Christian County to the best of his ability.
Wilkins, who was one of few college-educated jailers in Kentucky, said he used that education and experience to improve operations of the jail where it was possible.
Jocko was a veteran of the United States Army and was a longtime volunteer for the Christian County Humane Society. He is survived by wife, Sandra, and two step-sons.
Christian Cremation and Funeral Care is in charge of Wilkins’ arrangements and there will be no services.