Lawrence Richard ‘Dick’ Wilkinson
Feb. 11, 1930 — Aug. 29, 2017
Lawrence R. “Dick” Wilkinson, 87, died on August 29, 2017, in his home surrounded by his wife, Mary, and their children.
Dick was born on Feb. 11, 1930, in Milwaukee’s Columbia Hospital to Dr. James Francis and Frances (McNulty) Wilkinson. His mother died shortly after giving birth and Dick was raised in Oconomowoc by his aunt, Helen “Hano” Wilkinson, who became his adoptive mother. His father was later remarried to Patricia (Phelan) Wilkinson.
After graduating from Marquette University in 1953, Dick served in the U.S. Army until 1955, stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco. Dick and Mary Ann Schmank were married in 1955 in Wauwatosa. That same year, Dick began his career as a sales representative with Standard Oil Company of Indiana, later Amoco Oil Company, until his retirement in 1989. Throughout his career, Dick and his family relocated to Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Durand, Merrill, Chicago, back to Eau Claire, and Lansing, Mich. In retirement, Dick and Mary lived on the shores of Green Lake until moving to Neenah in 2016. Dick was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Mary, his wife, is the love of his life followed closely by their seven children, their children’s spouses, and grandchildren, all who are dearly loved by both Mary and Dick. Following their immediate family was his love for his extended family and many close, lifelong friends.
The greatest influence in Dick’s life was his Catholic faith. Dick took special interests in The Knights of Columbus, The Green Lake Preservation Society, and the Green Lake Sanitary District, where he served for twelve years as president of the commission that led the transition to a public sewer system surrounding the lake. In 1973, Dick co-founded the Eau Claire chapter of the pro-life organization Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for Life.
Dick is survived by his wife, Mary; their seven children: Kathleen Wilkinson, Mary (John) Seyer, Jeanne (Tom) Young, Beth (Paul) Urmann, David (Sara) Wilkinson, Ann (Todd) Plier and Daniel (Tricia) Wilkinson; and 13 grandchildren: Kate Seyer, Helen (Rod) Kouba, Emily, Sam and Luke Young, Joe, Peter and Jack Urmann, James, George and Henry Wilkinson, Kate and Michelle Plier; a sister, Janet Snyder; three brothers, Halford “Torch,” Patrick Joseph “P.J.,” and Maurice Robert “M.R.” Wilkinson; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his birth mother, Frances; his father, Dr. James Francis in 1986; his adoptive mother, Helen, in 1983; and four brothers: Jim in 1949, Jerry “Doc” in 2002, David in 2005, and Tim in 2014.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Neenah, with Fr. Larry Seidl officiating, and Fr. Philip J. Krogman and Fr. Neal J. Wilkinson concelebrating. Inurnment will be at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in St. Jerome’s Cemetery, Oconomowoc. Visitation was held Tuesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Veritas Society of Wisconsin Right to Life.
The family extends a special thank-you to the ThedaCare hospice nurses and staff for their compassionate care for Dick and support for his family.
Kessler Funeral Home, 304 S. Commercial St., Neenah, is serving the family. For more information, call 920722-6464 or visit www.kesslerfh.com.