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Captain Larry "Buford" Wilkinson passed away

Posted 03-24-2010 at 01:58 PM by Franz Neumeier
Former Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen crew member Captain Larry "Buford" Wilkinson passed away this morning at a hospital in Vicksburg, MS. He suffered from congestive heart failure, after his condition had been growing worse over the last couple of days.

Born on December 20, 1962, Capt. Wilkinson began work on the Delta Queen more than 20 years ago as a deck hand and worked his way up to serve as Captain. Capt. Wilkinson was one of the most noted and loved former Delta Queen Steamboat Co. crewmembers of all. He has been a very good friend to many and one of the special steamboat family members. And as Capt. Mike Williams just wrote in an e-mail, the Delta Queen is holding him close to her heart for ever.

On his Facebook page, Capt. "Buford" participated in "What Poem Are You?" - he selected Shakespear's 18th sonnet which we'd like to quote in memoriam Capt. Larry "Buford" Wilkinson:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Total Comments 7


My heart is breaking. Way too young, with so much left to give. I'm sure when MOR meets on the DELTA QUEEN in May we will have some sort of service in memory of this great young man. Maybe it will help to lighten this heavy load to remember and honor him on his last command.
Posted 03-24-2010 at 02:30 PM by Jo Ann Schoen Jo Ann Schoen is offline
Buford honored my father, Edward Koch by making him honorary Capt of the Delta Queen when he was dying 2 1/2 years ago from lymphoma. Along with being a pall bearer for my Dad, he gave a beautiful eulogy and played a recording of the Delta Queen's whistle to salute Dad on his journey home. Capt. Buford may you also have a safe journey home.
Posted 03-24-2010 at 03:24 PM by Mary Ann Koch Mary Ann Koch is offline
Capt. Wilkinson rest in peace. Yeah, that is way too young. You were a good friend of the Delta Queen.
Posted 03-24-2010 at 08:21 PM by Nori Muster Nori Muster is offline
Buford, what a fine friend you were to us all. The phone lines are buzzing as we all share memories together of our steamboat brother who has passed on way too soon. My life was greatly enriched for having had the honor of knowing you. May you rest in peace, good friend.
Posted 03-25-2010 at 08:28 AM by Jazzou Jones Jazzou Jones is offline
My heart is breaking. May you rest in peace my dear Capt. I will forever cherish our special time in conversation and giving him the stuffed"Golden Antlers" the night before the Great Steamboat Race.. You won the Golden Antlers that last race my friend, and now you have won them forevermore on the Golden streets of Heaven. I will forever cherish our friendship and gliding down the Delta Queen's gangplank on your arm as Miss Scarlett, I will meet you again on the River of Life and our memories will continue to blow and be "Gone With the Wind"....God Bless you my friend, until we meet again, with love and prayers "Miss Scarlett", Bettie Russo
Posted 03-29-2010 at 09:48 PM by Bettie Russo Bettie Russo is offline
I was so lucky to spend this past weekend with Delta Queen friends and former passengers, Jo Ann Schoen, Barb Hameister, and Gail Hindman. We shared so many stories about the Delta Queen and Captain Buford. It made the sadness of his passing a little easier. I never knew the Captain on any other boat, so to me, he will always be just the Master of the Legendary Steamer Delta Queen. I miss you Captain, RIP.
Posted 03-30-2010 at 07:47 AM by Jennifer Lemmon Jennifer Lemmon is offline
Captain Larry Wilkinson was an extraordinary human being. Rest in peace, dear one.
Posted 04-12-2010 at 08:59 AM by Jane Ross Jane Ross is offline

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