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Dennis Dean Wilken, 63 years of age, of Bertrand, Nebraska

Dennis Dean Wilken, 63 years of age, of Bertrand, Nebraska
August 24, 1954 - November 25, 2017

Celebration of Life Service for Dennis D. Wilken will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hope Lutheran Church in rural Smithfield, Nebraska with Reverend Tim Glendening officiating.  Interment will be held in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery, following the services.

Dennis Dean Wilken, 63 years of age, of Bertrand, Nebraska, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege, Nebraska.  Dennis was born August 24, 1954 at Lexington, Nebraska, the third of four children born to Eugene and RosElla (Lavene) Wilken.  In September of 1954, Dennis was baptized at Hope Lutheran Church, which was the last baptism in the old church, before the new church was built.  He was also confirmed at Hope Lutheran as well.  Dennis received his education from the Bertrand Community School, graduating from Bertrand High School with the class of 1972.  His senior year, they were proud to be Republican Valley League football conference champions.  As a young boy, Dennis was nicknamed, “Gus” which remained with him the remainder of his life.

On September 7, 1974, he was united in marriage to Lila Jean Huggett at the Hope Lutheran Church, and to this union two daughters were born:  Dana and Joni.  The family made their home in Bertrand, where they raised their family.  Dennis was employed by Central Nebraska Irrigation District out of the Bertrand office, and the time of his passing had served the District for 34 years.

Dennis loved being active in the Bertrand community, which included volunteering in many capacities.  He was active with the Bertrand Rodeo Committee, and was humbled to be selected as the 2005 Committee Man of the Year.  He was a past member of the Bertrand Lions Club, and the Bertrand Chamber of Commerce.  Dennis loved the outdoors, which included hunting and fishing.  Dennis never met a stranger, and lived to be able to have a good conversation with friends and family.  He enjoyed listening to music, especially Garth Brooks; and was well known by many to provide entertainment at wedding receptions by singing, “Friends In Low Places.”  Those that knew Dennis well, remember his ability to recite many lines from his favorite movie, Lonesome Dove.  Most of all, Dennis was proud of his family, and treasured the time spent with his grandchildren.  He found great pride watching them participate in their activities and sporting events.

He was a lifelong member of the Hope Lutheran Church, where he served as an usher, and previously served on the church council.

Besides his parents; he was preceded in death by his brother, Dale Wilken in infancy; father-in-law and mother-in-law:  Ervan and Doris Huggett; brother-in-law, Lee Huggett, and sister-in-law, Marie Holliday.

He leaves to celebrate his life; his wife of 43 years, Lila Wilken of Bertrand; two daughters: Dana Meyer and her husband, Allan of Loomis, Nebraska, and Joni Suhr and her husband, John of Overton, Nebraska; five grandchildren: McKayla, Clayton and Cauy Meyer, and Morgan and Kolt Suhr; one sister: Linda Schmidt and her husband, Farrel of Bertrand; one brother, Danny Wilken and his wife, Jan of Smithfield, Nebraska; brothers-in-law:  Paul Huggett and his wife, Vickie of Bertrand, and Dave Holliday of Minnesota; aunt, Betty Wilken of Bertrand; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews; other relatives and many friends.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with the family greeting from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege.

A memorial has been established in Dennis’ honor, and will be designated at a later date.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.

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