Don Wilken

Don Al Wilken, 82, of Johnson Lake, died Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019 at his lake home and went to be with his Savior Jesus.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Lexington with Pastor Erin Dunlavy and P.M.A. John Strackbein, officiating. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington.

Visitation will be from 3:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 3 at the Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel, with family receiving from 6:00-7:00.

Don was born on June 13, 1937, to Herman and Gretje (DeJonge) Wilken. He was born in the same room on the farm as his father was in rural Hildreth. Don had two older siblings, Adella and Roy and one younger sister, Karen.

He graduated from Hildreth High School in 1955, and went on to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a double major in psychology and philosophy. The highlight of his college years was singing in the Wartburg choir as they toured around the United States. He went on to seminary at the Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where he graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 1963. He was ordained into ministry at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in rural Hildreth and received his first call to Upper Wolf Lutheran church near Robinson, Kan.

Don was married to Carol Jean Sexauer on June 20, 1964, and three children were born to this union: Robert, Mark, and Deborah.

Don served five churches after Upper Wolf, Fredricksburg Lutheran in rural Minden; Faith Lutheran in Eaton, Colo., St. John Lutheran in Sterling, Neb, Zion Lutheran in Albion and St. Luke Lutheran in Emerson. He retired in 1999 and went on to serve as interim pastor for six more churches, Friedham at Funk, Zion at Gothenburg, American at Cozad, Trinity at Axtell, and First at North Platte, all in Nebraska. Altogether, he served 56 years as an ordained minister.

Survivors include his wife, Carol Wilken, Johnson Lake; two sons: Robert (GeorgeAnn) Wilken, Wakefield, Kan., and Mark Wilken, Johnson Lake; a daughter, Deborah Wilken of Kearney; five grandchildren: William (Nicole), Daniel, Jamie, Jessica (Lance), and Christina; seven great-grandchildren, Isabelle, Jonah, Lillia, Logan, Annabelle, Oliver, and Vyktor; his brother, Roy Wilken, Upland; and his sister, Karen (Winston) Anderson of Bennington.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Adella.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Lexington Ministerial Association or Lutheran World Relief.

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com

To plant a tree in memory of Don Wilken as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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