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Rev. Wesley Harold Wilkie

May 3, 1938 January 25, 2020
Rev. Wesley Harold Wilkie
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Obituary for Rev. Wesley Harold Wilkie

The Reverend Wesley Harold Wilkie passed away on January 25, 2020 surrounded by family in the comfort of his home. He was 81 years old. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 AM on Saturday February 1, 2020 at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, River Forest, IL. Committal will follow in the Grace Memorial Garden. Visitation will be held at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 South Marion Street Oak Park, IL on Friday January 31, 2020 from 3 to 7pm. Wesley was born in Saginaw, Michigan on May 3, 1938. He was the older of two children of Harold and Irene (Rutkowsky) Wilkie. He was proceeded in death by his brother Richard. Wesley summarized his life and calling with the phrase “Education in a Christian Context”. A graduate of the original Detroit Lutheran High School in 1955, he then studied Theology at Valparaiso University and received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St Louis. Ordained in 1964, he joined the Theology Department of Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Illinois now known as Concordia University Chicago. Responding to a request in 1968 he served Concordia College Selma, Alabama as Acting President and Academic Dean. From 1969-1971 he was a full time student at the University of Chicago pursuing his Ph.D. He returned to Concordia Teachers College-River Forest in 1971 -1974 as Dean of Chapel. Thereafter he taught Theology full time. In 1980-81 he was a visiting instructor at Oak Hill Theological College in London, England. In 1990 he was appointed Associate Professor of Theology at Concordia River Forest. As his teaching responsibilities became focused on church history and world religions, he led various student groups to Jordan, Israel, Hong Kong, China and England. He and his wife Luann also enjoyed a four month sabbatical in Southeast Asia. He retired from full time teaching in 2003. Scholarly interests included exploring Easter Vigils in the Orthodox traditions and membership in the North American Academy of Ecumenists. He regularly attended the National Workshop on Church Unity. Wesley enjoyed the outdoors, he was an avid deer hunter and shared that passion with his son-in-law and grandson. He completed the first of two marathons while in London in 1981.
Wesley was married to Luann Stein in 1962. He and Luann were together until her death in 1994. They were blessed with two daughters, Diana and Lauren. In 1996, Wesley married Dorothy (Fischer). Together they enjoyed fishing and traveling in the United States and throughout the world. Dorothy and Wesley shared their faith as active members of Grace Lutheran Church and regularly attended the Bach Cantata Vespers services. Wesley lives on through his beloved wife Dorothy, daughters Diana (Rick) Buffie and Lauren (John Elser), Jon Fischer (Cathy Ryan) and Kathy (Jeff) Spies; grandchildren Jennifer, Brian (Sara), Karin, Kirsten, Jai, and Nina; great- grandchildren Ethan and Kallie. Wesley was proceeded in death by his parents, wife Luann, brother Richard and granddaughter Erin. Memorials preferred to Concordia University Chicago, Valparaiso University and the Bach Cantata Vespers series at Grace Lutheran Church.

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Previous Events





3:00 PM 1/31/2020 3:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 1/31/2020 7:00:00 PM
Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home

203 South Marion Street
Oak Park, IL 60302

Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home
203 South Marion Street Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Celebration of Life




10:00 AM 2/1/2020 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/1/2020 11:00:00 AM
Grace Lutheran Church

7300 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305

Grace Lutheran Church
7300 Division St. River Forest 60305 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Valparaiso University

1700 Chapel Dr
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Grace Lutheran Church/Bach Cantata Vespers

7300 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305

Concordia University of Chicago

7400 August St.
River Forest, IL 60305

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