May 21, 2016
Mr. Stephen Howard Wilke, age 68, of Lenoir City, TN passed away May 21, 2016 at the University of Tennessee Medical Center after a brief illness. Steve was a loving husband, son, brother, and uncle, and a true friend to many.
Born in Evansville, Indiana to Howard and Geraldine (Peltier) Wilke, Steve lived most of his life in Southern California. He graduated from James Monroe High School in Sepulveda, and from Pierce College in Los Angeles. During the Vietnam War, Steve served in the infantry with A Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in 1968-1969. He was always proud to call himself a Currahee. He retired after serving nearly thirty years in the Internal Services Division of Los Angeles County government before moving to Tennessee six years ago.
Steve was an avid outdoorsman. His true lifelong passion was fishing of any kind and being on and around the water. He liked nothing better than standing in the middle of a cold river or mountain stream, casting flies that he had tied. He also loved his books and reading about everything, bicycling and, in younger years, hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In recent years, his joy has been working in his yard to create a lush garden. He cared deeply about enjoying God’s beautiful world and protecting it for future generations.
He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Betty Boyd Wilke; sisters Ellen Wirsing and Linda Wilke, Spring Hill, TN; brother and sister-in-law David and Heather Wilke, Nipomo, CA; mother-in-law Frances Boyd, Lenoir City; brother-in-law and wife, Michael and JoAnn Boyd, Marietta GA. In addition, he is survived by nieces and nephews Kevin Wirsing, Philip Wilke, Joyelle Wilke (Michael) Oakes, Blair Boyd (Will) Zant, Noelle Boyd, and Ryan Boyd, along with great-nieces and nephew Caledon and Bree Wirsing, Barrett Oakes, and Katie and Bethany Zant. He loved them all deeply.
Following Steve’s wishes, there will be no traditional services and his ashes will be scattered in his favorite places in the mountains and streams. On Friday, June 17th in Lenoir City at the Avalon Golf Community Clubhouse a Celebration of Life Service will be held. Evans Mortuary is serving the Family of Mr. Stephen Howard Wilke