Laurence A. Wilke, age 87, a resident of Miltona, died Thursday, May 26, 2011, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Home in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Miltona with Reverend William Stockman officiating. Music will be provided by organist, Deb Joachim. Burial will take place at the church cemetery with full military honors.
Visitation will be 5-8 p.m., Tuesday at Lind Family Funeral Home in Miltona and continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
Laurence Alvin Wilke was born June 15, 1923, to Ben and Bertha (Ziebell) Wilke in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota. He grew up on the family farm and attended District #55 School and Parkers Prairie High School, graduating in 1941. He was united in marriage to Vera Yvonne Olson January 17, 1943, in Deer Creek. Following their marriage they lived and farmed with his parents in Miltona. He served in the U.S. Navy for one year. Following his honorable discharge he returned to Miltona where he purchased a farm near Lake Miltona. He farmed the next 25 years raising and selling record producing registered Holsteins. In 1970, he retired and sold the farm and moved to the five acre, Ben Wilke homestead. He became a feed & seed salesman with Miltona Creamery for 15 years. In 1996, he became care-giver to his wife, Vera for 13 years. His strong faith in his Savior Jesus was lived out through his caring ministry for others and helping his family. Laurence was a life-member of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) in Miltona where he served as treasurer and on various other boards. He was a member of the Parkers Prairie American Legion, Miltona V.F.W., Dairy Herd & Improvement Association and was a former 4-H leader. He played, pitched and coached baseball with the Resorter's League until the age of 40. He enjoyed hunting, bowling, church dartball, horseshoe, fishing, golfing and playing cards.
Laurence is survived by his son, Donald (Joanne) Wilke of Sauk Rapids; daughter, Janice (Joe) Glassing of Inver Grove Heights; four grandchildren, Mary (Doug) Gerrelts, Larry (Anneliese) Glassing, Steven (Yeni) Wilke and Darren (Jolene) Wilke; and six great-grandchildren, Christine Gerrelts, Joshua Gerrelts, Aaron Wilke, Benjamin Wilke, Taylor Wilke and Tanner Wilke. The family is especially thankful to special friend, Laverne Skaja and the staff for their devoted care ministry to Laurence during his six month stay at Good Shepherd Lutheran Nursing Home.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Vera in 2009; daughter, Mary Roberta Wilke; brother, Walter Wilke; and sister, Nina Ziegelman.
Pallbearers will be Darren Wilke, Larry Glassing, David Wilke, Murray Wilke, Doug Gerrelts and Maynard Hoppe. Honorary pallbearers will be LTC Steven Wilke and Jeff Wilke.