John Wilken ‘Jack’ Wilkenson, of New Richland, died on September 26, 2020. He was 81 years old. A public visitation will be held Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Friedrich Funeral Home – New Richland from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
A graveside service will take place at 11:00am on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at LeSueur River Lutheran Cemetery – New Richland. Pastor Steve Woyen is officiating A livestream will also be available at www.bonnerupfuneralservice.com under his obituary page.
John was born on November 21, 1938 in Albert Lea, MN, the son of Wilken and Gilma (Warke) Wilkenson. He was later baptized and confirmed at LeSueur River Lutheran Church. John attended country school near his home and graduated from New Richland High School in 1956.
After high school, John volunteered for the Army and served his time at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. During his time in the Army he was chosen to drive a Cadillac in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade, which was one of his favorite stories to share. After his return from the Army he came home to farm with his parents. On August 13, 1966 he was united in marriage to Linda Abbe. John was the proud father of three children: Mary, Daniel and Matthew.
John was a lifelong farmer which was thoroughly an enjoyment for him. He raised dairy cows for thirty-three years and continued on with crop farming after selling the herd. He continued to help his sons on the family farm in recent years. John was also a life-time member of the LeSueur River Lutheran Church and served as the church president and on the church council for several years. John’s hobbies included restoring his three Farmall tractors, reading about antique tractors and the history of farming, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
John is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Linda of New Richland; Mary (Jeff) Berkeland of Bricelyn, Dan Wilkenson of New Richland and Matt (Kara) Wilkenson of New Richland; seven grandchildren, Courtney Berkeland (special friend Jonathan Danielson), Josh Berkeland, Jacob Berkeland, Gavin Wilkenson, Grace Wilkenson, Olivia Wilkenson and Danika Wilkenson; sister, Helen (Jim) Grunwald of Owatonna; sisters-in-law, Marilyn (Doug) Pirkl of Owatonna and Joyce (Borris) Mokoff of Northfield; brothers-in-law, Ron (Darlene) Abbe and Bob (Jan) Abbe, both of Owatonna; and several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Wilken and Gilma Wilkenson; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Melvin and Ordena Abbe; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Dennis and Janet Priebe.
Memorials preferred to the LeSueur River Lutheran Church Building Fund, the American Cancer Society, or the American Diabetes Foundation.