Richard Jack Wilkinson

 

February 15, 2024

On February 2, 2024, Richard Jack Wilkinson, surrounded by family, rejoined his loved ones in heaven. He was born to George and Flore, in 1930 in Missoula, Montana. 94 years young, Richard learned hard work early on "working the family dairy farm and ranch up Lolo Creek," while his older brother and uncles were called up for the war. He always remembered the pain endured during those years, as a society, and personally, from bouncing on that iron tractor seat alone, for many a hay field mile!

Attending Woodman Elementary up Lolo Creek, there were so few kids, he got to do what most kids dream of? He skipped ahead a year and began Missoula County/Hellgate High. One sunny summer day at Missoula Livestock Show and Exhibition, he chanced to meet his love at first glance, his life's one and only, Georgenia May Lueck. The dance began, and lasted 74 happily married years! With a will to succeed and a chance at running the Grough Dairy on Whitepine Creek, the Clark Fork Valley became our new home.

Richard enjoyed a brief stint with United Bridge and Steelworkers Union, building the Trout Creek Railway bridge. Using saved monies, he bought the Carnation Dairy route from Sandpoint, Idaho, to Plains, Montana, delivering products and freight for the next 26 years! An occasional trip to the main Spokane office provided us with a true adventure in those days. In his younger years, hunting stories could be told one after the other, the "46" Willy's Jeep being the likely catalyst! He very much enjoyed business and the public at large, leading to years co-owning Conoco Bulk, Sears Catalogue, Independent Contractor, finally retiring from Crown Pacific/W-I Forest Products, Local 379 Carpenter and Woodmill Workers Union as a Spc. Millwright Welder, remembered by friends as "WILKY."

During retirement he continued to tree farm, enjoyed a well stocked wood pile, his trusty CASE tractors, a chainsaw, and usually a welder/job close by. He continued to enjoy senior citizen dinners and dances. Dad and Mom's dance through life much resembled their smooth easy steps to a jig, a two-step, or a waltz at the senior dances, often admired, sometimes video recorded! He always enjoyed the wilderness, wildlife, and the solitude his hard work had afforded him. Together they knocked off a bucket item with an adventure filled vacation to Alaska.

He is survived by his wife Georgenia (pictured, because we only have them in pictures as together). Also we are faithful and confident they are soon to be united again, in spirit and soul, and gracefully dance into eternity forever once more! He is also survived by daughter Geena (Fred) Taylor and family; sons Ross (Linda) and family, and Andy and family; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and foster children.

The entire family wants to thank the awesome, amazing care and doctors and staff of both Clark Fork Valley Hospital and St. Patrick's Hospital. Your kindness and care was noticed and appreciated. Thank you "all" very much! No memorial service is planned.

 

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