George Henry Wilken, 90, of Spearfish went to be with his Lord and Savior on Nov. 21, 2021.

He was born on Sept. 5, 1931, to Henry and Georgia (Wilson) Wilken in Aberdeen, S.D. He grew up on the Wilken Homestead northwest of Faith, S.D. He treasured ranching and the wide-open spaces throughout his life.

George was baptized at Indian Creek Lutheran Church in 1935 at Chance, S.D., and confirmed there in 1946. He attended grade school at Happy Hill School and graduated from Faith High School in 1948. In 1951, during the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in Seattle, Wash., and Atsugi, Japan. When he returned home, he ranched for one year with his parents and then enrolled at the School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, in September 1956 in mechanical engineering.

George met the love of his life, Janet Preszler, in 1955. They were married on Aug. 4, 1957, at Christ Lutheran Church, Bison, S.D. George and Janet made their first home in Rapid City while George finished his Bachelor of Science Degree at the School of Mines and Technology. George and Janet moved to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1960, where he worked as a mechanical engineer for John Deere Tractor Works. In 1966, George, Janet and family moved to the Wilken Homestead. In 1976, George returned to engineering, working for TCI Power Products in Yankton. In 1984, George, Janet, and family moved to Tooele, Utah where George worked for the Tooele Army Depot. He lived in Tooele until retirement in 2002, when he and Janet moved to Spearfish, SD. George then enjoyed many trips to the Wilken Homestead where he continued to ranch and garden. He volunteered at the Spearfish food pantry.

George is survived by his wife, Janet and their four children, their spouses, and eight grandchildren. These include Susan Linn (Joe) Wortmann and children Jeremy (Lindsey) Wortmann, Alex (Allison Wortmann); Ronda Rae (Greg) Jones, Brittney (Colby) Daniels, Amanda Warner (Russell Rassmussen), Melisa Warner (Vincenzo Deufemia); Lori Ann (Bill) Burton, Billy and Jack, Mike Henry (Michelle) and Riker Wilken. George is survived by his brother, Don Wilken, and a legacy of eight great-grandchildren.

George was preceded in death by two infant sons, Todd Henry, and Mark Daniel, his parents, Henry and Georgia, and one sister who died at birth.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Spearfish with burial and military honors to follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels & Isburg Crematory of Spearfish.

Online condolences may be written at

To read all of today's stories, Click here or call 642-2761 to subscribe to our e-edition or home delivery.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.