Alan Wyant ĎAlí Wilkerson, 79
Alan Wyant ďAlĒ Wilkerson of Cedarburg died on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, at his home in Saukville at the age of 79.
Al was born in Racine on June 12, 1930, the son of Helen and Warren
Wilkerson. On April 22, 1994, he married the love of his life, Sherry Jones.
Al graduated from Horlick High School in Racine and went on to Marquette University to study dentistry. He was six years into the program and decided
that was not what he wanted. He entered the Navy and served four years, then transferred into the Air Force for two more years. After honorable release, he enrolled at the Milwaukee School of Engineering to pursue his life- long dream of becoming an electrical engineer, and never regretted the decision.
While in school full-time at MSOE, he had his daughter, Inger, and he
supported his family with various jobs. These jobs included working at the
Boys Club supervising the pool area, teaching some classes at MSOE, one
being how to use the slide rule, and working at a bowling alley, His job at
the bowling alley entailed keeping the lanes running smoothly (ball return,
pin setup, etc.). In fact, he was so mechanically inclined and he got the
lanes working so well that they hardly ever broke down. The owner set up a
desk and lamp so he would have a place to do his homework and paid him to be there just in case something broke down. Every evening upon his return home from the bowling alley he had his homework done. He managed to graduate from MSOE with a 4.0 grade point average and was also a member of the honor society, Tau Omega Mu.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Al started his first business in his teens, doing
small appliance repair and plating. He worked primarily in the electronic
industry and spent a number of years with Web Press, Sun Chemicals, Louis
Allis, Thermo Products and Allen-Bradley. Al headed up the drives division
in Cedarburg for Allen-Bradley. Sales went from $850,000 and grew to $17
million within eight years.
Al also ventured into broader enterprises such as the renovation and
operation of the Range Line Inn and various real estate investments.
He was still running his latest business with his wife, Sherry, Gemini Corp.
when he passed away. Al had numerous patents and was a well-known expert in motor drive design. He was an alternative energy pioneer, inventing the original inverter that converted wind (or other) energy into AC current and sent it back to the power grid.
Al enjoyed entertaining, international travel, animals, writing and
researching homeopathic and alternative medical and technical advancements.
Always an optimist, his perspective on life was enjoyed by all who had the
pleasure of meeting him.
Al is survived by his wife, Sherry Jones Wilkerson; children, Inger (John Merline) Wilkerson, Marian (George Maling) Wilkerson, and James
(Suzanne) Wilkerson; grandchildren, Emily, Margaret, Hilary, Mitchell,
Kristen, Allison, Mary, Elizabeth and Erik; and sister, Janet Thompson of
Kansas City, Kan. Al is further survived by other relatives and many
e was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Roger Wilkerson; and
brother-in-law; Alan Thompson.
The funeral services for Al will be held today, Dec. 17, 2009, at 4 p.m. at
Advent Lutheran Church, W63 N642 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012.
The Rev. Dr. Janis Kinens will be officiating. The visitation will be today from
1 p.m. until the time of the 4 p.m.
service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the Advent Lutheran Church
(see address above). A reception and light luncheon will immediately follow
the services in the church hall. All are invited to attend.
Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation & Preplanning Services in Waukesha is serving the family.