Mr Wilkes was a dedicated member of Keep the Horton General campaign group.
KTHG chairman Keith Strangwood said: “Don had many typically Liverpudlian character traits. He was forthright, humorous , questioning, ironic, sometimes irascible and never afraid to challenge those in authority.
“One of the founding fathers of KTHG he never flagged in his support of our Horton General Hospital.
“Despite suffering heart problems for several years – Don was famously airlifted from a golf course in Adderbury having suffered his first heart attack – he religiously attended our fortnightly meetings until recent weeks when he was admitted to the JR for the final time.”
He leaves his partner, Joyce, two children and four grandchildren.
A full tribute to Mr Wilkes and details of his funeral will appear in next week’s Banbury Guardian.