Sterling Lyle Wilkins

August 21, 1935June 4, 2021

We mourn the passing of Sterling Lyle Wilkins on June 4, 2021. He was 85. Truly, he was a stabilizing force for all who knew him, a calm in the storm, and a dependable voice of reason for family and friends. He will be missed.

Born at home in Birmingham, AL on August 21, 1935, and living his entire life in Birmingham, he attended Shades Valley High School, graduating in 1954.

He attended Birmingham Southern College, graduating in 1958. At Southern, he was both the Treasurer and President of Lambda Chai Alpha Fraternity, and later went on to become their National President.

He was a self-taught trombonist and went on from lead trombonist in the Shades Valley band to play in many big bands throughout his life, including the Shriner’s, and both the Alabama Cardinals and the Joe Giattina Orchestra, where he not only played, but arranged music. If you celebrated New Year’s Eve at The Club in the 70’s, you celebrated with Sterling and the band. His love of music was infectious and lives on in all those he touched, be it in a deeper enjoyment or the playing of it.

A member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, he married Gladys Louise Eberhardt in 1967. He was a compassionate caregiver to her following her stroke in 2011. They were lifelong partners until her passing in 2020.

Almost his entire work life was spent at UAB, where he worked his way up from Tax Receivables to Chief Investment Manager.

He was also a longtime member of the Zamora Shriners of Central Alabama, and the Alabama Freemasons.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Calvin “Bobby” Wilkins (Sylvia, Birmingham), and is survived by his sister Dorothy Wilkins Clark (James, Birmingham), his daughter Lynda Wilkins Brossette (Dr. Stephen, New Orleans), his son Mark Eberhardt Wilkins (Donna, Toronto, Canada), and his grandchildren Nathan and Audrey Brossette of New Orleans, and Devin and Aidan Wilkins of Toronto, Canada.

He was laid to rest on June 10, 2021 in a family plot at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, AL.

A great life lived is one that lives on, and Sterling’s will live on in all he touched. Anytime something silly happens, a piece of music moves us, or a cooler head must prevail, he will be there. We will think of him, we will miss him, and we will be together again.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,, Zero - The End of Prostate Cancer,, or Kitty Kat Haven & Rescue of Birmingham,


  • Friend and Family are Cordially Invited to a Time of Visitation for Mr. Wilkins

    Thursday, June 10, 2021

  • A Graveside Service

    Thursday, June 10, 2021



Sterling Lyle Wilkins

have a memory or condolence to add?

Vanessa Ward

June 10, 2021

Knowing how much Sterling loved his kitties, we just made a donation to Kitty Kat Haven & Rescue.

As a long time friend to Lynda and Mark, I have many nice childhood memories of Sterling and Gladys.....most including laughter!

I'll miss your sweet humble smile Sterling :-)

Much love,

Vanessa, Matt, and Mia Ward

Tony Wilson

June 9, 2021

Sorry to hear and for your loss. Sterling was a gentleman and pleasant to talk to. I expect to see him in Heaven in a fpew years.


Mart Avant

June 7, 2021

Sterling was a fixture in one of the bands I played in for decades-- The Joe Giattina Orchestra-- His calm presence and quick wit was always refreshing!