Alferd E. Wilken

FAIRMONT – A Celebration of Life service for Alferd “Al” E. Wilken, 96, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at United Methodist Church in Fairmont. Visitation with the family will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Alferd passed away on Saturday morning, June 1, 2013, at Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont.

Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Fairmont is in charge of the arrangements.

Alferd Edward Wilken was born Sept. 25, 1916, in rural Greenwood, Neb., to Fredrick and Lena (Jasper) Wilken. He was the fifth of eight children. In September of 1929, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord. He worked as a chore-boy on the Bornemeyer Farm from 1929 until 1934. He graduated from high school in Elwood, Neb., in 1933. He answered the call to the ministry in the Evangelical Church in 1934. He graduated from Western Union College in Le Mars, Iowa, in 1938. He taught high school math and science, was principal and coached baseball and basketball in Otho, Iowa. In Otho, he met fellow teacher Helen Wonders, whom he married on June 5, 1942. He graduated from Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1943. Al pastored four churches in Iowa. He served nine years as the District Superintendent, and for nine years he was director of the Council of Ministries for the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. He retired in 1982 and served five years as visitation pastor at the Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Al served on Iowa Conference and General Conference and church boards. Al and Helen moved to the Maplewood Residence in Fairmont, Minn., in June of 1996. Helen died on July 20, 2005. Al enjoyed camping, fishing, fast-pitch softball and volleyball. He listened to the Twins and Fairmont Cardinal sports on the radio. Al and Helen enjoyed nine winters in Gulf Shores, Ala. He did many carpenter projects at the homes of his children and enjoyed being with their families.

Al and Helen were blessed with three children: Kathryn (Marlyn) Bunger of Davis, S.D., Keith (Sue) Wilken of Fairmont, Minn., and John Wilken (fiancee, Becky) of West Des Moines Iowa. Also blessed by 10 grandchildren: Mark (Olya) Bunger, Sara (Matthew) Eide, Bryan (Becky) Wilken, Laura (Jeff) Rupp, Heidi Wilken, Marisa (Chris) Maloney, Molly (Ryan) Grimmius, Keri (Dawn) Clark, Kristi Terronez and Karla (Brian) Fought; step-grandchildren Lisa, Rick and Kari; 21 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews; and other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents and wife, Al was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters; and nieces and nephews.