Burnell Wilker

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Burnell Wilker, 86, of Elkader, passed away Thursday, February 15th, 2018, peacefully in hospice care at Central Community Hospital. Burnell Wilhelm Arno Wilker was born March 7, 1931, to Arthur and Hertha (Funk) Wilker. He was baptized April 19, 1931 at Zion Lutheran Church, Clayton Center. He went to Public Schools of Clayton County and received a diploma from it on May 15th, 1945, and later graduated from Farmersburg High School in 1949. While in high school, Burnell enjoyed sports and lettered in baseball and basketball. He was a private in the Honor Platoon 203 U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed in San Diego, California. He proudly served as a marine from 1952 to 1954. 

Burnell actually met his future wife while they both attended Mecklenberg County School in the late 1930s. He was united in marriage to Iva Dean Cora Louise Hoth on January 31, 1955, at Peace Church, Elkader, Iowa.

Burnell owned and operated Wilker Feed & Seed, Inc, for 38 years. In 1993, he sold the business to his son, Brian, and continued to work “semi-retired” until 1998. He loved meeting new people and was proud to a business owner in Elkader. He was also an active member of the St. Olaf American Legion.

Burnell loved just being around his whole family. He adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Fishing, anytime of the year, was his favorite hobby. Plus, he liked playing bingo and cards with family and friends. He devoted many years to working with 4-H kids and volunteering at the Clayton County Fair. He loved to travel to new places and won many trips through his business by exceeding feed sales goals. Even though Iva Dean preferred to stay home, she was by his side for every trip. London, England, was one of their favorite trips abroad.

Survivors include his sons: Dan (Marcy) Wilker of Dubuque, Brian (Dixie) Wilker of Elkader, Mark (Linda) Wilker of Urbandale; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his sister Annabelle Peterson of St. Cloud, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Iva Dean, in 2016; and his brothers, Eldon, Clifford and Karl.

A visition was held Sunday, February 18, from 2 to 5 p.m. at  Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader and after 10 a.m. on Monday also at the church. Funerals services were at 11 a.m. Monday, February 19, 2018, at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader with Rev. Jon Haack officiating. Interment with military honors was at East Side Cemetery, Elkader

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home assisted the family. Online condolences can be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com

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