Wilbur Wilken

Wilbur Wilken

GIFFORD — Wilbur Meine Wilken 87, passed away at 8 a.m. Friday (March 15, 2019) at Country Health in Gifford. Wilbur was born on July 28, 1931, a son of Meine Wilken and Grace Ackerman Wilken in Stanton Township.

He married Betty (Bobbie) Mann on April 30, 1955, in Kankakee. Betty preceded him in death in 2004. He is survived by his sister, Emma Johnson of Gifford; brother, Harold (Nancy) Wilken of Urbana; daughter, LuAnn of North Carolina; three grandchildren and special friend and companion, Bernita Harms of Royal.

He was preceded in death by his wife; son, David; and brother, Arnold.

Wilbur was a very dedicated caregiver for his wife when she fell ill with Alzheimer's for almost 10 years. Before her illness, they enjoyed camping. Every fall, they would spend three weeks in Brown County, Ind. In recent times, Wilbur and Bernita spent time in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Wilbur was a truck driver most of his adult life. Starting at a young age, he worked for Champaign County Livestock. He also drove a tanker for Hart Oil Company. Later, he drove for J.M. Jones and Super Value, retiring in 1998. In 1987, he won the J.M. Jones rodeo and also earned an award for driving 1 million miles without an accident.

Wilbur was confirmed on March 17, 1946, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Gifford. He later became a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Flatville.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Burial will be in Kopmann Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

Freese Funeral Home, 302 E. Grand Ave., St. Joseph, is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church or Country Health, Gifford.