Fred Wilkens, 85, of Marcus, Iowa passed away on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at the Heartland Care Center in Marcus. For the protection of family and friends, a memorial service will be held at a later date.
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Fred Henry Wilkens was born March 14, 1935 to Chris and Mildred (Specht) Wilkens. Fred was raised on the family farm north of Marcus, the oldest of 4 siblings. Fred was Baptized into his faith and Confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, rural Marcus.
Fred graduated from Marcus High School in 1953. As a young man he farmed with his father raising poultry and hogs. Over the years, Fred also worked for the Weart and Lysaght Lumber yard, served as the Marcus night cop, and assisted Nelson Funeral Home. He drove school bus for 18 years and began work with the Postal Service in 1965.
Fred married Bonnie Jean Brooks on July 19, 1964 and they made their home in Marcus where the couple raised two children, Paul and Diane.
Fred loved Marcus and was active in the community his whole life serving on various boards and committees. He was a charter member of the Marcus Jaycees, served as a City Councilman for several years, and was an active member of the Marcus Fire Department for 22 years. After retiring as the Marcus Postmaster in 1996, he remained active in the community by serving on the Marcus Amherst Cemetery Board as the sexton and generally helped where needed. He promoted the Heartland Care Center and volunteered to mow that property for several years. (His family knows that also gave him the chance to enjoy driving his C-Farmall.) He enjoyed bus tours with the travel group “Alice and Jack”, and the daily coffee crowd at the Big Booth or the Marcus Junction. One of his favorite times of the year was always Marcus Fair time.
He loved Marcus history and was known by some to be a bit of a Marcus historian. Growing up just north of the tracks he would share stories of Marcus railroad history and the steam engines of his youth. He made sure his kids rode the final passenger train through Marcus in the early 1970’s. Fred often shared stories of train rides to Mississippi and Ohio to drive new buses home for the school district. With fondness, he would also talk of the school bus kids he transported and activities that transpired around town as the Marcus night cop.
Fred loved his grandchildren and often mentioned how proud he was of their accomplishments.
Both Fred and Bonnie entered the Heartland Care Center in October of 2016. Fred passed peacefully at the Care Center on December 15, with his wife and family at his side.
Fred is survived by his wife, Bonnie of 56 years; a son, Paul (Mary Ellen) Wilkens of Marcus, IA; a daughter, Diane (James) Sumner of Watertown, SD; a sister, Ruth (Bill) Harms of Sioux City, IA; a sister; Judy (Gary Martin) Wilkens of Parker, CO; three grandchildren, Dylan Sumner, Sarah Sumner and Christina Wilkens as well as various nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; and an infant sister, Jeanne.