September 25, 1945 – August 26, 2014
Charlene ‘Char’ Wilkening, age 68, of 1802 Boone Street, died August 26, 2014, at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.
Following her wishes, she has been cremated and a Celebration of Life will be Monday, September 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Sarah Karber officiating. The family requests family and friends wear purple at the Celebration of Life in support of Char’s theme of “Live Laugh Love.”
Her cremains will be interred at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter at a later date.
Friends may call at the First United Methodist Church on Sunday from 3 until 8 p.m. where the family will be present from 6 until 8 p.m.
Charlene May Wilkening was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, on September 25, 1945, the daughter of Charles and Charlotte (Stark) Laughlin.
As a youth, Char lived on farms near Batavia and Collins, graduating from Collins High School in 1963.
In 1966, she graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Cedar Rapids.
Char married Larry ‘Rabbit’ Wilkening on November 12, 1966, at Maxwell, Iowa.
In earlier years, Char worked as a Registered Nurse at the Story County Hospital in Nevada and St. Anne’s Hospital in Chicago.
From 1970 to 2011, Char was employed at the Boone County Hospital and worked as a staff nurse, house supervisor, and Med Surg Nursing coordinator.
She was co-founder of the Wound Clinic at Boone County Hospital. Although Char retired as a full time nurse in 2000, she continued her work with the Wound Clinic.
She helped organize Boone’s Free Clinic of Iowa.
She was awarded the Boone County Hospital Brown Award and was recognized as one of Iowa’s Greatest 100 Nurses.
Char volunteered for Relay for Life, which she served as chairperson for four years, ACS Daffodil Days, and Meals from the Heartland.
Char was a member of the Boone Women’s Club and Women of the Moose.
She was also a member of First United Methodist Church where she was active in various church groups and choir. She received Parish Nurse Certification and Clinical/Pastoral Education, both in 1999 and she served as her church’s Parish Nurse.
She enjoyed traveling, reading, walking, going to Curves, and especially enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s activities.
Char recently enjoyed Facebook and keeping in touch with family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her father and two brothers Tom Reese and Don Reese.
Char is survived by her husband Larry ‘Rabbit’ of Boone; two daughters Julie Wilber and husband Scott and Jenifer Thilges and husband Brian, all of Boone; a son Mark Yazdanpanah and wife Azar of Minnetonka, Minnesota; her mother Charlotte Laughlin of Boone; a brother Harold Laughlin and wife Lynne of Columbia, Missouri; a sister Anita Steenhoek and husband Ken of Ankeny; sister-in-law Karen Reese of Kearney, Missouri; five grandchildren, Drew and Jade Wilber, Ashton Thilges, and Hannah and Parma Yazdanpanah; nieces, nephews, and numerous other family members loved by Char.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date.
Schroeder Memorial Chapel at Sixth and Marshall is in charge of arrangements.Information provided by: Schroeder Memorial Chapel, Inc. 1006 6th Street Boone, IA 50036 www.schroedermemorialchapel.com