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Richard V. Wilkens

1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Richard V. Wilkens passed away on October 12, 2017 at the age of 91. He was born on January 26, 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was raised in Fort Wayne where his family owned and operated Wilkens Meat Market which was in operation for over a century.
He was known as "Butch" through- out his childhood and then well into adulthood by his close friends and family in Indiana. He was a great athlete through his high school years and beyond, competing in football, basketball, and baseball. He also played volleyball and competed in trampoline. He was so proud of playing football for the St. Joe Saints, #75.
Richard left Fort Wayne, Indiana with his best childhood friend, Earl Bentley, and traveled the United States where they would end up living a short period of time in both Florida and Alaska. In 1958, they eventually settled in Riverside County. Upon moving to California, Richard worked for Market Basket Grocery Stores and Alpha Beta Grocery Stores as a meat cutter.
In 1959, Richard met the love of his life, Lois "Nan" Wiltshire. On their wedding day that next year, he became both a husband to Lois as well as a father to her ten-year-old daughter, Pammie. To him, she would become "Steamboat". They lived in Sunnymead, during the 1960's.
While his "on again-off again" relationship with Lois had its peaks and valleys over the next 40+ years until her passing in 2007, the father-daughter relationship that he built with Steamboat never wavered. He would eventually adopt Pamela, and become her Dad, he would later become the proud grandfather of her three children. To his grandchildren and to his future great-grandchildren, he would forever be known as "Coco Papa".
While working for Alpha Beta, he was promoted to District Meat Supervisor and he moved to Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs in 1978. He lived there for the next 39 years. He was always active and took great pride in his fitness whether it be walking, biking, swimming, tennis, or going to the gym. He competed in the Desert Senior Triathlon throughout the 1980's, he was in a bowling league, he played in a senior softball league, and he was an avid golfer. In addition, he was a member of the Palm Springs Elks Lodge 1905 for 46 years and served as their Exalted Ruler in 1982-1983.
In 1991 he retired from Alpha Beta and began working at Avis Rental Cars at the Palm Springs Airport where he would end up working for the next 23 years, until the age of 88.
Richard was an incredibly outgoing person who made friends wherever he went. He didn't need a lot of material things to be happy but took great care of and pride in the things he did have. For him, making someone laugh or making someone smile was all he needed. He enjoyed being around people and people enjoyed being around him. He touched countless lives throughout his journey in life and will always be remembered for his kindness to others, his gentle smile, his words of wisdom, and his boisterous laugh.
He loved the Chicago Cubs and was elated last October to see them win their first World Series title in his lifetime. He was also a fan of the Green Bay Packers. His Uncle Elmer Wilkens played on the 1926 Green Bay Packers for which he was very proud.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick Ralph Wilkens and Helen Spindler Wilkens; his brothers, Frederick R. Wilkens Jr. and Donald Wilkens.
He is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Buzz Dopf; grandchildren Bobby and Yolanda Dopf of Beaumont, CA; David and Cindy Dopf of Laguna Niguel, CA; Lychelle and Mike Carlson of Irvine, CA; seven great grandchildren: Savannah, Kaela, Madison, Donovan, Peyton, Lexie, and Grace; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Life Stream, which he received an award for his donation of platelets. Laguna Niguel Lightning Baseball teams, coached by his grandson, David or Palm Springs Elks Lodge #1905, where he spent many hours working his way through the chairs, and serving ribs on Wednesday nights.
A memorial service will be held Friday, October 20th at 11:00am at Weaver Mortuary Chapel located at 1177 Beaumont Avenue, Beaumont, CA 92223. Arrangements were entrusted to

Weaver Mortuary, Beaumont, CA 951-845-1141
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Oct. 18, 2017
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