Edward S. Wilke, 71, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
He was born at Fitsimmonzs Army hospital on July 10, 1945. Ed spent his early years helping on the family farm and at 17, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During the Vietnam War he was a helicopter mechanic and also a gunner. There he earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Medal, as well as many Air Medals.
When he left the service, Ed enrolled in Sparten School of Aviation. He later fell in love with a bank teller in Tulsa and they married and moved to Rolling Meadows Illinois where Ed began his career with United Airlines in 1970. In '02, Ed retired from United after holding various positions throughout the company in San Jose, San Francisco, Houston and Los Angeles. During that time he became the Maintenance Manager and at one time was in charge of over 400 employees.
While in Torrence, Ed was involved with the Tri-Valley Touring Riders motorcycle club and taught Motorcycle Safety courses for the state of CA. Ed loved to travel and hiked Mt Whitney as well as making the rim-to-rim trek across the Grand Canyon. One of Ed's most memorable adventures was his motorcycle tour of Austrailia and Tasmania.
Ed eventually decided to settle in Tennessee in the Cherokee Lakes area, where he could fish and tour the East Coast on his motorcycle. Ed has many wonderful friends in Tennessee, Wisconsin and various other parts of the country.
He is survived by his two daughters, Dr Tammy K Wilke (Hanford, CA) and Christina K Wilke (Colorado Springs, CO); his granddaughter, Elizabeth Wilke (Tulsa, OK) and grandson, Kason True (Colorado Springs, CO); sister and brother in law, Phyllis & Martin Waltho (Appleton, WI); niece, Natalie Shillington (Appleton, WI) and nephew, Adam Waltho (Goodyear, AZ).
Ed was loved by all and will be sincerely missed.