Farming Rural 07

Jack Wilkey

September 8, 1929 ~ August 18, 2021 (age 91)


Due to Covid-19 awareness, Jack is having a family graveside service.

Some of the family will be present at the visitation and they request that masks be worn in the funeral home. 


Jack B. Wilkey, son of Harold Aaron (Jack) & Lula (Wagaman) Wilkey, was born September 8, 1929, near Villisca, in Montgomery County, Iowa. He was the 5th child of what later would become 9.

The family moved around a lot, living in various communities such as Villisca, Sharpsburg, Diagonal, and finally to Ellston, Iowa which would become his forever home.

Jack attended Ellston school through his 8th grade year, ultimately ending his school years and going to work with his dad and for various farmers in the area. He was always a hard worker, but still had time for some fun.

In 1951, Jack entered the U.S. Army, serving in the Korean War in the artillery, attaining the rank of Corporal, leaving with an honorable discharge in 1953. He was a proud veteran and told many stories to us about his experience.

After returning home, he and his dad moved to South Dakota to work and farm. About a year and a half of dry summers and hard winter, Jack returned to the Ellston area.

Eventually, he met his wife of nearly 52 years, Marilyn Sue German. They were married on October 5, 1955, at the Loving Chapel in Leon, Iowa. To this union, 4 children were born: Steven Jack, Aaron LeRoy, Curtis Wayne, and Brenda Sue. When oldest son, Steve, was one year old, they bought their farm north and east of Ellston on Sand Creek and spent the next 64 years there farming and raising their family.

Jack and Marilyn worked side by side raising cattle, corn & beans, milking cows, raising hogs, chickens, letting the kids have various pets such as goats, rabbits, horses, dogs, cats, and gardening too. Jack’s ultimate love was raising his cattle. He enjoyed walking out and looking over his herd, and when he weaned the calves, he would bucket feed them, walking down the bunks as they came up to eat. He almost had them for pets!

Another favorite pastime for Jack was fishing. He had numerous fishing trips with his sons, grandsons, and friends, going to South Dakota, Lake Michigan, and even Canada. Sharing those whopper fishing stories as all fishermen do! And the ones that got away!!

Jack raised his kids trying to instill in them his hard work ethics. He had a firm hand when needed, but we all know he did it with love, teaching us to respect others and ourselves. His word and handshake were as good as any contract.

Jack was very private when talking about his belief in God and his personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. No man truly knows another man’s heart; only God truly knows our hearts. What Jack did relate to many was that God had surely been with him during his time in the Korean War-and during his 30 plus years of heart disease; he gave God credit for extending his life. Jack was baptized in the Ellston Methodist Church back when his young family was growing. Then, later in life, Jack & Marilyn both came forward during a revival meeting in Mount Ayr and prayed the sinner’s prayer with the preacher and asked Jesus to save them.

Jack passed away August 18, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Marilyn in 2007; siblings Sam Wilkey, Jim Wilkey, Frank Wilkey, Leonard Wilkey, Wilmina Jennings, Iona Jill Wilkey, Lula Rae Wilkey.

Survivors include his children Steve (Diana) Wilkey of Gretna, NE, Dr. Aaron (Renee) Wilkey of Tingley, IA, Curtis (Debbie) Wilkey of Thayer, IA, Brenda (Jeff) Woody of Mount Ayr; sister Helen Robbins of Wardsville, MO; grandchildren Nick (Callista) Wilkey, Jason (Katie) Wilkey, Kristin (Derek) Lambert, Dan (Steph) Wilkey, Amy (Chad) Mefford, Amanda (Tomi) Overholser, Adam (Liz) Jackson, Cameron (Lacey) Woody, Allen (Carrie) Woody; great grandchildren Nash & Ethan Wilkey, Savana & Isabella Wilkey, Jack & Leo Mefford, Abbi & Brodie Overholser, Kasen Jackson, Brayden & Brody Fields, Lauren & Austin Wilkey, Carter & Adler Reed, Cayden & Payten Lambert, Finn Woody, Jaiden & Luke Lurtz; many nieces and nephews; cousins Nadine Blume of Clarinda, IA and Joe Overman of Oregon

Memorials are to the Methodist Church and the American Legion, both in Ellston.

There will be military honors at the cemetery on Monday.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jack Wilkey, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service


Some of the family will be present during the visitation
August 22, 2021

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Armstrong Funeral Home
205 West Monroe St
Mount Ayr, IA 50854

Family Graveside Service
August 23, 2021

11:00 AM
Ellston Cemetery
Ellston, IA 50074

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