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WILKENS, DAN EDWARD Dan Wilkens died peacefully in his home, surrounded by family, on December 15, 2012, at age 67, after a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer. Dan was born in San Antonio, Texas, on October 1, 1945, the youngest of three children. He graduated high school in Charlotte, Texas, and Dan would go on to lead a life of many phases. He received a scholarship for college basketball from the University of Texas, but left school due to injury. He began a career as a rock radio DJ, as Robin of the popular morning duo Batman & Robin. Dan entered military service as a member of the Air Force Reserves, and was stationed in Japan during the Vietnam War. He returned home and graduated from Trinity College in San Antonio, with a degree in journalism. In 1973, he moved with his family to San Diego and became publisher of several community newspapers throughout the county. He left San Diego for a year to publish the Kansas City Star, but returned and entered the political sphere. He worked as campaign manager and chief of staff for former city councilperson and state assemblywoman Lucy Killea. Dan earned his MBA from National University. In 1984, he was hired as community and government relations director for the Port of San Diego. He worked at the Port for 25 years, eventually retiring in 2009 as executive vice president. Dan's wit, wisdom, and generosity of spirit were known to all who knew him. He taught business and public administration classes at National, but was a teacher in life, as well. He fought for the advancement of women and minorities in the professional world, and always put the needs of others before himself. He also loved to travel with his wife and children, and took numerous trips to Europe, Hawaii, and Asia. Dan is survived by his wife, Carmen, his children, Laura, Matt, and Rafael, their spouses, JB, Piper, and Sumali, his grandchildren, Connor and Maggie, and Elvia Martinez and his godchildren, Alex and Carmen Andrea. Dan loved his pets dearly also, and he will be missed by his two dogs, Gigi and Benji, and three cats, Garfield, Coco and Bonita Angelina. A memorial service for Dan will be held on Thursday, December 20th, at 1:00 p.m. at Chapel of the Roses, 3838 Bonita Rd., Bonita, CA. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the .

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 19, 2012
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