Funeral services for Jack R. Wilkinson, 79, were conducted by Pastor Dwayne Ferguson on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The honorary casket bearers were: Milo Bylund, Carl Ritz, Gary Wilkinson, Mick Christensen, Don Roberts, Tim Armentrout, and Carrol Mace. The active casket bearers were: Lynn Wahlert, Doug Wade, Greg Baier, Roger Bylund, John Nissen, and Delbert Elmquist. Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
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Jackie Ray Wilkinson, the son of Floyd Linley and Ione E. Bullock Wilkinson, was born Oct. 19, 1930 at his parents' home in Davis County near Floris, Iowa, and died surrounded by his family on Nov. 26, 2009, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, Iowa at the age of 79 years, 1 month and 7 days.
Jack was baptized at the Christian Church in Ottumwa. He attended rural schools in Davis County and then graduated from the Bloomfield High School with the Class of 1948. He helped operate the family farm then enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his tour of duty he served in Italy. Jack was honorably discharged and returned to the Bloomfield area to farm.
On May 28, 1950, he was united in marriage to Naomi Jean Stookesberry at the United Methodist Church in Bloomfield. Two daughters were born to this union. Jack farmed and later became a salesman for McCurdy Seed. In 1962 they moved to Audubon, where Jack sold seed corn for several years then became a mason and was employed by Schmidt Masonry for many years. He continued to do masonry part time after he retired, but also enjoyed spending time traveling with Jean. She suffered from several health problems and Jack was always there to help her. Jean died Sept. 17, 2008. Jack was active until his health required him to move to the Exira Care Center on Oct. 19, 2009.
Jack was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Audubon. He was a member of Audubon Post No. 120, American Legion. He was a member of Audubon Veritas Lodge #392 and had also served as the Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He also was a member of the Audubon County Travelers. Jack enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and spending time with family. He always had a big garden and enjoyed giving away all his produce to family and friends.
Preceding him in death, in addition to his wife Jean, were his parents; his in-laws: Roy and Evelyn Stookesberry; his brother: James Robert and his wife Iris Wilkinson; his sister: Wilma Jean and her husband Noel Ritz, his sister-in law: Wauneta and her husband Jim Marlette and his nephew: Rick Honn.
Survivors include his daughters; Jill and her husband Ted Peer of Ankeny; and Jodi and her husband Dennis Deist of Audubon; his grandchildren: Derek and Genelle Deist of Audubon; Jackie and Jeremy Karns of Waterloo; and Ryan Peer of Des Moines; his great-grandchildren: Jackson, Eli, and Oliver Deist all of Audubon, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Dec. 4 to Dec. 11, 2009