Reverend Robert (Rob) Wilcken of Oelwein, IA, left his earthly home on December 25, 2010. He died at Allen Hospital in Waterloo, IA from complications after heart surgery. He was 74 years old.
Rob is survived by his wife of over fifty years, Carolyn; three sons, Kurt (Kathryn) Wilcken of Sheboygan, WI, Steven (Seana) Wilcken of Ames, IA, and Geoffrey (Wendie) Wilcken of Lawrence, KS; one brother, Clarence “Pete” (Darlene) Wilcken of Roseville, MN; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Rev. Wilcken was born on February 20, 1936 in St. Paul, MN, the son of Clarence A. and Mary (Stevens) Wilcken. He received his college education at the University of Minnesota. Though music education was his first choice of study, he heard the call of the Lord, and chose holy ministry, entering Concordia Seminary, Springfield IL, earning his Masters of Divinity and being ordained in 1963. He married Carolyn Milen on July 30, 1960. For thirty-eight years, he served the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Genoa CO and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Hugo, CO; Zion Lutheran Church, Springfield MN; Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Sheboygan County, WI; St. Paul Lutheran, Ames, IA; St. Paul’s Lutheran, Thorp, WI; and Epiphany Lutheran Church, Stanley, WI. In his early years, he was especially active with the youth, participating in 4H fairs and wilderness trips. In 2001, he left Thorp, WI, retiring in Oelwein, IA. He never stopped serving the Lord, filling in as supply pastor at several churches in the area, including Good Shepherd Lutheran in West Union.
Community activities include the Lions Club of Thorp, WI, presiding over campground services in the summer, membership in the Cupboard Association, and volunteering at Arlington Place.
Rob enjoyed many hobbies during retirement, from glass etching and stained glass artwork, to quirky sayings wrapped around candy bars. Known as the “Duct Tape Guy,” his most recent hobby has brought much joy to many friends and family members. He could often be seen around town wearing a duct tape tie and paying for purchases from his duct tape wallet, and conducted occasional demonstrations.
Visitation: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home.
Funeral Services: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 11:00 am at Peace Lutheran Church in Oelwein with Rev. Michael Holmen officiating. A private burial will take place the same afternoon in Ames, IA.