Melissa L. Wilke

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Melissa Lue Wilke, 66, of Elkader, passed away Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at the Oldorf Hospice House in Hiawatha. She joined her heavenly father following a courageous battle with cancer. Melissa Lue Clark was born on May 25,1954, in Independence, to Donald and Margaret Clark. As a young child, she moved with her family to a farm near Clermont. She graduated from Valley Community School in 1972, and then completed the secretarial program at the Area 1 Vocational School in Calmar. 


Melissa married William Wilke on Sept. 2, 1973, at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader. They farmed outside Elkader their entire life together. The couple had five children, which included the first set of triplets to be born at the Elkader hospital in 1980.


When her children were grown, she began to work in town; she greatly appreciated the social aspect of that. Family was important to her; after she raised her own children, she took on the role of primary care-giver to her granddaughter, Hannah. Melissa enjoyed preparing family meals and especially loved baking. She loved all holidays, and loved to decorate for them; this included dressing up for Halloween and Christmas shopping for her family. Her fondness for baking and Christmas led to her being well known within her family for her sugar cookies during that time of the year. In recent years, she had a lot of fun selling baked goods at the farmers market in town. Melissa was an animal lover, and she carefully tended to the livestock on the farm and was very fond of her cats and dogs. 


Melissa is survived by her children Jenny (Jeff) Fangman, Elkader; Daniel Wilke (Dawn Lawson), Elkader; and Lanette (Brett) Schutte, Elkader; and grandchildren Jonathon Fangman, Katelynn Fangman, Hannah Wilke, Andy Fangman, Cody Wilke, Lucas Wilke, Ayden Schutte, Aaron Fangman, Addysen Wilke and Holden Schutte; her twin sister Melinda Clark, Postville; and siblings Russel (Patty) Clark, Waterloo; Randy (Carol) Clark, Clinton; Patricia Parker, Cedar Rapids; and Sherri (Peter) Niemi, Klamath Falls, Ore.


Melissa was preceded in death by her husband, infant son Douglas Wilke, daughter LeAnn Wilke and her parents.


Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader.


Memorial service will follow at 11 a.m., also at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader. Rev. Jon Haack will officiate.


Masks and social distancing will be required.


A private family internment at East Side Cemetery, Elkader, will be held at a later date.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with

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