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Raymond Wilkens, 84 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Grygla - Raymond “Speed” Wilkens, 84, died Thursday, May 7, 2009 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls.
 Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thurs-day, May 14, 2009 at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, with Pastor Bob Dahlen and Pastor Mary Gilthvedt officiating.  Casket bearers include Danny Hoeper, Jason Hoeper, Joey Holthusen, Tobey Holthusen, Jesse Skyberg and Delwyn Holthusen Sr. Honorary casket bearers include Aaron Skyberg, Fred Sorensen Jr., Mike Benke Sr., Ron Erickson, Tom Martelle, Lynn Thompson, Bob Jamison, Lee Sorensen and all the members of Raymond’s deer hunters gang. Interment will be held at Poplar Grove Cemetery in Espelie Township.
     Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13 (today), at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Wednesday evening.  Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at the church  Thursday.
     Raymond Dale Wilkens was born February 18, 1925 in Moylan Township, Marshall County, the son of Albert John and Frieda Annie Catherine (Becker) Wilkens.  He was baptized at home as an infant and confirmed at Bethel Lutheran Church, Grygla, in 1937.  He attended Moylan School District 98 and graduated from Goodridge High School in 1942.  He farmed with his father until his marriage. On September 16, 1949, Raymond was united in marriage to Ethel Rose Holthusen at the parsonage in Mavie. The couple moved to a farm southeast of Grygla, for two years. They then moved to Goodridge, where he worked in the Municipal Liquor Store.
    In 1955, they moved to Grand Forks, N.D., and he worked for Absey Motors until 1959, then they returned to their farm. He continued to farm until his wife died in 1991 and the farm was turned over to his son, Dean. Raymond lived on the farm until June 1993, when he moved into an apartment in Grygla. He worked for many years as a substitute road grader operator for Marshall County Highway Department. He also drove bus for the Grygla School for 27 years.
     He was a member of the Grygla Lions Club and served as its president from July 1983 to July 1984.  Ray loved hunting, fishing and playing pinochle. He also loved to watch Minnesota Twins baseball and Minnesota Vikings football on TV. He especially loved being with his family.
     Raymond is survived by children, Jean (Allan) Berndt, Goodridge, Elaine (Bill) Safranski of Thief River Falls, Dean (Judy) Wilkens, Grygla, Lorraine (Darald) Holthusen, Grygla, and Doris Skyberg, San Antonio, Texas; 15 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.
     He was preceded in death by wife, Ethel, on April 26, 1991; an infant son, Daryl Wayne; a grandson, Craig Berndt; parents; sisters, LaVera Homme and Arlene Skoglund; brothers, Melvin and Lloyd Wilkens; and son-in-law, Marlow Skyberg.
    Funeral arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Family condolences may be sent by visiting www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.