FAIRMONT?- A Celebration of Life service for Keith A. Wilken, 68, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 31 at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Fairmont. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery in Fairmont. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 30 at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Keith passed away doing what he loved on Hook Lake near Hutchinson, Minn.
Keith Allen Wilken was born on April 20, 1945, in Le Mars, Iowa, the son of Alferd and Helen (Wonders) Wilken. Keith went to school in Miservey and Ames, Iowa, and graduated from high school in Des Moines in 1963. He went on and graduated from Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa, in 1967. That same year God united Keith and Suzanne K.Vogel in marriage on July 30, 1967, at the United Methodist Church in Fairmont. Keith and Sue moved to Naperville, Ill., where Keith attended Evangelical Theological Seminary and graduated in 1971. Keith pastored in Nora Springs, Iowa, for eight years and then moved to Waterloo, Iowa, for a short time before moving the family to Fairmont in 1980. While in Fairmont, Keith and Sue farmed together with Sue's parents. Keith also served as youth pastor at the Fairmont Evangelical Covenant Church during the 1980s. Keith and Sue retired from farming in 2012.
Keith lived fully for Jesus Christ throughout his life. His proudest achievement was his children and grandchildren. His exuberance was shown through playing games, acting, singing, swimming, water skiing, biking, volleyball, sledding, ice skating and vacationing together. This love of life extended into his church family as well as the community; he had leadership roles in 4-H, Fairmont Opera House, Civic Summer Theater, Dollars for Scholars, Sunday School Teacher, Stewardship Chairman and Counsel member.
Those who will cherish Keith's memory include his wife, Sue Wilken of Fairmont; one son, Bryan Wilken and his wife, Becky, of Fairmont; four daughters, Laura Rupp and her husband, Jeff, of Sioux Falls, Heidi Wilken and special friend, Mike Hawkins, of Sioux Falls, Marisa Maloney and her husband, Chris, of Brandon, S.D. Molly Grimmius and her husband, Ryan, of Albert Lea; grandchildren, Ross Wilken, Logan and Madison Hawkins, Darin and Ashley Rupp, Lillian and Norah Maloney and one Maloney on the way, and Anne Grimmius; one sister, Kathryn Bunger and her husband, Marlyn, of Davis, S.D., brother, John Wilken and fiance, Becky, of West Des Moines, Iowa; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Larry Vogel and Margo Weaver of Fairmont, Alan Vogel and Elli of Sioux Falls, Marilee Bodie and Greg of Duluth, Minn.; nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Alferd and Helen Wilken.