STAPLES -- John J. Wilkowski, 75, Staples, died Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001, at his home as a result of cancer.
He was born Jan. 7, 1926, in Perham to August and Cecilia (Karsnia) Wilkowski. He served as a staff sergeant for the 494th Bombardment Group, 865th Squadron in the South Pacific during World War II. He married Joan Wilson on Oct. 29, 1949, in Rush City, where they lived before moving to Staples. He worked 40 years for Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads, retiring in 1987. He served as the local chairman for the Brotherhood of Railway Signal Maintainers. He was a Staples volunteer firefighter until his retirement. He was a lifetime member and former commander of Staples VFW Post 1910. He was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge.
Survivors include his wife; two sons, Steve Wilkowski, Aitkin, and Kenneth Wilkowski, Fort Worth, Texas; two daughters, Felicia Cizek, Menahga, and Paula Huss, Staples; one brother, Paul Wilkowski, Perham; two sisters, Betty Rutten, New York Mills, and Rose Borgeding, Dent; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
A brother, Jim Wilkowski, and a granddaughter died earlier.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Staples with Father Tim Wenzel officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Hill Cemetery. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Brenny Funeral Home in Staples with parish prayers at 7 p.m. followed by a rosary.
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