Donald ‘Don’ E. Wilke
July 26, 1930 – March 16, 2014
Donald “Don” E. Wilke of Waukesha died Sunday, March 16, 2014, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital at the age of 83.
Don was born on July 26, 1930, in Watertown, to George and Alma Wilke (nee Hess) and graduated from Watertown High School in 1948.
He married the love of his life, Joan Buchert, at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Watertown on December 20, 1952. Don proudly served in the United States Army for 20 years from 1948 to 1968 and retired from active duty as lieutenant colonel. He participated in the Korean and the Vietnam wars and was a Vietnamese adviser for the 1st engineer corps in DaNang. During his time in the Army, Don spent 6 1/2 years in Germany, where he taught engineering. He was also part of the 24th combat engineers and 4th armored Division in Nuremberg, Germany. After retiring from the Army, Don completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., and continued on for his MBA at the University of Kansas in Lawrence Kan. He then was very pleased to serve His Lord as the assistant treasurer at Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Don then spent many years as an instructor of accounting and business at Milwaukee Area Technical College, West Campus, until retirement.
While his wife, Joan, was alive Don was a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church where he was a treasurer, member of the assimilation committee and a greeter. When Don was traveling in the Army he was usually an active member of WELS mission churches. God again gave him the opportunity to be part of a mission church. Don served as chairman and member of Living Word Evangelical Lutheran Church of Waukesha. As his health changed, he moved closer to home and became a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Don was the treasurer at Senior Par Plus Golf League and was a member in Tuesday Senior Men’s Golf League. For five years, he volunteered with hospice groups and was a tax volunteer with AARP.
Don will be missed by his children, Lisa (Glen) Monaghan of Dayton, Ohio, and John (Terese) Wilke of Waukesha; grandchildren, Brian (Jenn) Monaghan, Joy (Ben) Monaghan, Michael Wilke and Matthew Wilke; and sister-in-law, Harriet Wilke of Watertown. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Don was preceded by his father George in 1964; mother Alma in 2002; wife Joan in 2001; brother Richard in 2008; sister Joan in 1998; and nephew Bob in 2009.
The visitation for Don will be held on Saturday, March 29, from1:00 P.M. until the 2:00 P.M. memorial service at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 700 Beachwood Avenue, Waukesha. The Rev. Jason Hacker will be officiating. Private inurnment will take place at Prairie Home Cemetery.
Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For online obituary or to leave a condolence, please visit
www.WaukeshasFuneralHome.com, or call 542-6609.