Dennis G. Wilker - Byron

BYRON — Dennis G. Wilker, 62, died of cancer on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, at his home, surrounded by his family.

Dennis was born April 21, 1947, in Owatonna, Minn., to Donald and Daisy (Cress) Wilker. He graduated from Owatonna High School in 1965 and attended Austin Vo-Tech, receiving a degree in Drafting.

Dennis was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. He returned to Minnesota in 1969 and was employed with Fullerton Lumber until 1989. In 1990, he became a part-owner of Rochester Lumber Company until his retirement in December 2003. On Nov. 21, 1970, Dennis married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Mae Johnson, in Owatonna. They have since resided near Byron, where they raised their family of two children, Christie and Jason. After his retirement, Dennis opened an antiques shop, "Denny's Curiousity Shoppe," in Byron.

Dennis was a member of VFW Post 4555 in Mantorville, American Legion Post 119 of Byron, the Military Order of Coaties, and Eagles 1791 of Owatonna. He also was a member of the Fraternal Order of HooHoo (Fraternal Order of Forest Products Industry), the Home Builders Association, and Christ Lutheran Church of Byron.

Dennis enjoyed woodworking, carpentry, touring auctions in his 1999 Plymouth Prowler, and vacations with family and friends.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Sandra; his daughter, Christine (John) Bausman of Byron; a son, Jason (Tiffany) Wilker of Byron; his father, Donald E. Wilker of Owatonna; brothers, Dale (Carol) Wilker of Hope, Minn., and Dean of Quail Valley, Calif.; five grandchildren, Morgan and Tyler Bausman, and Kyla, Kinslei and Jill Wilker, all of Byron; and several nieces and nephews.

Dennis is preceded in death by his mother, Daisy.

A Funeral Service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, at Christ Lutheran Church, 201 Frontage Rd. N.W., in Byron, with Pastor Dick Rehfeldt officiating. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, and one hour before the service at the church. Burial will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Owatonna Memorial Gardens. Military honors will be provided by Byron Post 119.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Christ Lutheran Church in Byron.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place N.W., Rochester. (507) 289-3600