Barbara V. Gilkerson

December 23, 2016

Barbara V. (Cockley) Gilkerson, 80, of Doylestown and Tucson, AZ died suddenly on December 23, 2016 while visiting her daughter in Wilmington, DE. She was the loving wife of Ralph E. Gilkerson for 18 years.

Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of John L. Vanderherchen and Mary Stevenson Porter.

Affectionately known as Bobbie, she graduated from Lankenau High School in Philadelphia. She continued her education at Cedar Crest College (BA 1957) and Arcadia University (Med 1987). She was a math teacher for over 20 years. She was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Doylestown, PA and St. Philip’s in The Hills in Tucson, AZ.

Bobbie was an avid bridge player who was excited to recently earn her ACBL Club Master Status. She loved all sports. She played and officiated field hockey, rooted for the Phillies and Eagles, cheered on the University of Arizona teams, and was an active tennis player. She was quick to dash off a note to the sports columnists demanding equal coverage for women’s sports, particularly softball.

She was an active Cedar Crest alumna. She loved music and sang in many church choirs throughout her life. She loved to go birding, garden, read and travel. She volunteered her time and talent where ever her help was needed from Operation School Bell in Tucson, to the altar guild and church kitchen, to the garden committee and the board of directors of El Encanto. She led an active life both in Doylestown and Tucson.

Above all, her greatest love was spending time with her friends and family. She cherished the time spent with her children and especially her granddaughters. Family vacations at the beach, especially OCNJ and LBI, were always fun and treasured times.

Bobbie was a loving wife, mother, grammy, aunt and friend. She is survived by her husband Ralph Gilkerson, her children Jo Ellen Cockley (Jon Payne) of Wilmington, DE and Andrew Cockley of Westminster, MD and granddaughters Jenna Cockley and Katie Payne. Sister to Joanne V. Fulcoly. Aunt to many nieces and nephews including Wannie Mochel, Jeff and John Fulcoly, and Gail Barr. Stepmother to Ann and Alex Gilkerson. Predeceased by her sister Helen Vanderherchen and her stepson Glen Gilkerson.

Her funeral service was held on December 30, 2016 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Doylestown. Family and friends are invited to a reception celebrating the life of Bobbie on Sunday January 22, 2017 at 1 p.m. at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

Memorial donations may be made to Cedar Crest College 100 College Drive Allentown, PA 18104 for a prize established in her name.


10 ~ 11 a.m., Friday
December 30, 2016
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
84 East Oakland Avenue, Doylestown



11 a.m., Friday, December 30, 2016
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
84 East Oakland Avenue, Doylestown