Richard William “Dick” Wilken, age 93 of Carlyle, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 8, 2019. He was born to Anton and Antoinette “Nettie” (nee Borgelt) Wilken on January 17, 1926.
Dick is survived by his sisters – Betty Wilken, Jeanette Wilken, Mary Reis, and Helen Monken and husband Edward, a brother-in-law – Irwin “Lou” Luebbers, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers – Henry “Hank” Wilken and wife Rose, and Anthony “Tony” Wilken and wife Bettye; and a sister – Gertrude “Trudy” Luebbers.
Dick was a veteran of the United States Army, serving from April 1953 to April 1955. He was assigned to the military police until they found out he was very good at auto mechanics. He was then transferred to head of the motor pool. Dick loved talking about the guys in the motor pool, but more importantly he discovered his love of thoroughbred racing while stationed on the east coast. When he returned from the service, he joined his father on the family farm. More than anything, Dick loved his horses. They were his kids. He loved talking about horses, watching horse races and reading anything related. From 1968-2006, he raised thoroughbreds and raced at Cahokia Downs and Fairmont Park with his good friend, Eddie Essenpreis.
Mr. Wilken was past president of the Beckemeyer/Wade Township Fire Department and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He received National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle with Fr. George Mauck, celebrant. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation will be held at St. Mary’s Church from 9:00 – 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
The Knights of Columbus will pray the rosary in memory of Mr. Wilken on Tuesday at 7:00 PM at St. Mary's Church.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Mr. Wilken may be made to St. Mary’s Church or to the American Cancer Society and will be received through Zieren Funeral Home in Carlyle.
St. Mary's Church
1171 Jefferson Street, Carlyle IL 62231
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123