Roy Wilken

Roy H. Wilken of the rural Upland/Hildreth area died October 11, 2021, at Kearney Regional Hospital. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hildreth with the Rev. Caroline Keenan officiating. The family requests those in attendance please wear a face mask. The service will be live streamed to the church’s social media pages and later shared the funeral home’s Facebook page. Interment will be held following services at the Hildreth Cemetery. There will be no visitation. Memorials are suggested to Mosaic or to ELCA Disaster Relief. Craig Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Roy was born on the farm of his parents Herman and Grace (DeJonge) Wilken on December 26, 1931. He attended the one room school (District 21) one mile south of the farm in rural Franklin County. He graduated from Hildreth High School in 1949. Roy was baptized as an infant in the family home and confirmed on April 14, 1946, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church south of Hildreth. He served on the Emmanuel Lutheran Church Council as an adult.

Roy spent his life on the Wilken farm except for the summer of 1950, when he worked at the Hastings WWII-era Ammunition Depot emptying arsenal shells. It was a dangerous job and there had been four fatal explosions at this facility that claimed 21 lives in 1944. Roy farmed with his father, Herman, and in 1961, the Wilken farm received the “Tree Farm” award. Roy became the first Franklin County farmer to take advantage of ACP practice No. 28 (agricultural conservation practice). Roy applied for the Forestry Improvement Practice from the County ASC office and received the award to better improve the shelterbelts on the farm.

Roy was stubborn, strong as an ox, but also caring. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. He liked visiting with friends and was a friend to many who knew him.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Grace Wilken; sister, Adella Wilken; and brother, Don Wilken. 

He is survived by sister, Karen Anderson and her husband Winston of Bennington, NE; sister-in-law, Carol Wilken of Johnson Lake near Lexington, NE; nephews, Robert Wilken, Mark Wilken, Todd Anderson, Timothy Anderson; and niece, Deborah Wilken.

Tributes and memories can be shared with the family at