JEROME W. “JERRY” WILKER, age 95,
of rural New Bremen, peacefully passed away at 6:26 A.M. at the home of his daughter on Thursday, September 21, 2023. He was born on December 13, 1927 in Mercer County, Ohio, the son of the late Julius J. and Gertrude K. (Kramer) Wilker. He married Imelda G. “Millie” Wendel on October 24, 1950, and together they shared 72 wonderful years before her death on May 8, 2023. Surviving are his children: James (Barbara) Wilker, Ruth (Thomas) Keller, David (Sandra) Wilker, Rita (Jerry) Keller, and Janet (Mark) Broerman all of New Bremen, and Virgil (Lorena) Wilker of Maria Stein; his twenty-three grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren (with 4 more on the way), and five step great-grandchildren. Also left to cherish his memory are his siblings: Charles (Mary) Wilker, and Carolyn Mangen as well as his sisters in-law: JoAnn Wilker, Diane Wilker, and Marceil Wilker. Along with his parents and wife, Jerry was preceded in death by his siblings and in-laws: Martin (Madonna) Wilker, Lester Wilker, Wilfred (Ruth) Wilker, Gerald Wilker, Bernard Wilker, Paul Wilker, and Earl Mangen.
Jerry attended Coldwater Schools, and served in the United States Army from 1950-1952. He had been engaged in farming his entire life, and he had worked as a dump truck driver for Spring Creek Corp. and Al Broerman Trucking and also drove livestock trucks for the Schwaberow operation. He later went on to work at Crown Equipment Corp. in New Bremen where he retired in 1992. He had been a devoted member of the Church of the Holy Redeemer in New Bremen for many years, and had served as an altar boy in his youth. Jerry enjoyed the simple things in life like spending time on his porch watching the deer and holding hands with Millie, and he loved spending time with his large family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in New Bremen with Rev. Fr. Mark Hoying, Rev. Fr. Ron Wilker and Deacon Mr. Brad Feltz concelebrating. Interment will follow in the German Protestant Cemetery of New Bremen. Calling hours will be held on Monday, September 25, 2023 from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. at the Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home in New Bremen, and again on Tuesday morning at the church from 9:00 till 10:00 A.M. Memorial contributions in Jerry’s memory can be made to a charities of the family’s choice and Masses at the Church of the Holy Redeemer (120 S. Eastmoor Drive, New Bremen, Ohio 45869). Memories and online condolences can be shared with the family on the funeral home website: www.gilberghartwigfh.com.