Cover photo for John Wilkening's Obituary
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1917 John 2021

John Wilkening

March 28, 1917 — August 19, 2021


John Frederick Wilkening, 104, died August 19th, 2021, at the Keokuk County health Center in Sigourney. He was born March 28th, 1917, near Hayesville, IA to Henry and Bessie (Chase) Wilkening. He attended Chastine and Bassie schools in Hayesville. John Served in the 152nd Infantry of the United States Army During World War II including 6 months overseas in the Philippines. On January 5, 1943, he married Wilma Schumacher at Camp Robinson, Arkansas whom he affectionately called “Bill” and the love of his life. They would share 62 years of life and dancing together. Never missing an opportunity for good music. (As long as it wasn’t too loud!)

After his military service John was employed by the REC TIP, helped to build the Thule Airforce Base in Greenland, managed the Sigourney Ideal Ready Mix and served as Wilma’s Right-hand man keeping 3 beauty salons running.

He was an 80-year member of the Sigourney Odd Fellow Lodge IOOF #98. He was also a member of the Rebekah Lodge #262, Lacey Kerr VFW Post #2308, and the Leo R. Farmer American Legion post 19.  John served as Trustee for the Pennington Cemetery for many years.

He filled his 104 years to the brim. Always with a project or 3 going and working to build, improve or fix something seeing the value in everything around him. Just about any tool or part could be found in his treasures and most times he knew exactly where they were.  If there was music playing, he was the first to jumpup and start moving. With an easy grin and twinkle in his eye offering his hand always first to Bill then with her blessing other lucky ladies lined up for their turn on the dance floor. John spent many Augusts working in the Amsoil booth at the Iowa State Fair. He loved attending Old Thrashers in Mount Pleasant.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Wilma, son Terry Joe Wilkening, brother Leslie Wilkening, sisters Frances Leighton and Henrietta (Hankie) Greene Vittitoe.

He is survived by children Max Wilkening of Oceanside,California; James Wilkening of Oceanside, California; Ann (Warren) Wilkening of Olympia, Washington, Sisters Bessie Jean Hollinsworth of North English and Belva Hollingsworth of Sigourney, Sister in-law Bernice Wilkening of Sigourney; Daughter-in-Law Ione Wilkening of Sigourney. Eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, five great-great- grandchildren and dozens of very special nieces and nephews.

We will miss his gregarious laugh, ornery quips, generous spirit, sharp memory, and heart to heart hugs.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Wilkening, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Sigourney Senior Citizen Center

214 South Main Street, Sigourney, IA 52591

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