Harley Wilke

Harley Wilke

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The gates of heaven opened for Harley Wilke, age 86, of Oshkosh, WI and formally from Cudahy, WI passed away peacefully on August 12, 2020 at Bethel Home in Oshkosh where he resided for the past 3 years.

Harley was born in Shawano, WI on August 7, 1934 and graduated from Shawano High School.

Harley worked and retired from the Ladish Company in Cudahy with side jobs at the Precision Frame and Alignment Co. and shuttling for the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

Harley had a love for fast cars, women, stock car racing, snowmobiling gambling, fishing, boating and card games. Always the first, with his brother Jerry, at the table after a holiday meal ready and raring for a good game of poker or dice. One of the boys would always win! Each one of us holds a dear memory with Harley and may they always be cherished.

Harley's charismatic persona followed him wherever he went, always catching the attention of the ladies from his frequented diner in Oak Creek where he made the staff his family and at Bethel Home where he was welcomed with open arms and brought much joy to his fellow roommates along with all the staff there. Along with his contagious smile the twinkle in his blue eyes will not be forgotten.

Harley is survived by many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Preceding him in death are his parents, William and Eleanor Wilke; and his siblings, Leaona (Clarence) Brauer, Mildred (Raymond) Yahnke, Beatrice (Clifford) Berry, Myrtle (Ervin) Schutt, William (Nora) Wilke, Beverly (Walt) Sundholm, Doris (Merlin) Everson, Shirley( Michael) Lazor, and Gerald (Carol) Wilke.

We would especially like to extend our gratitude to Bethel Home and their entire staff especially Chaplain Dave, his friend and poker dealer. Ascension at Home Hospice and his dear friends Kim and Bridget.

Services will be held on Monday August 24 at the Memorial Gardens green space next to Bethel Home, 225 N. Eagle Street, Oshkosh WI, 54902 with visitation at 10am funeral at 11am. Due to Covid-19 this will be an outdoor service, masks and social distancing are mandatory. Please bring a lawn chair and spread out accordingly.

Harley will always be remembered for his charming personality and love of motorsports. Harley grew to love auto racing at an early age. Driving and owning race cars throughout his life, he loved to be at the racetrack and was a proud owner of Carlson-Wilke Racing. Harley continued his support of the Carlson Racing Family until his passing, and will always be affectionately known as "Grandpa Harley."

Harley loved to have fun, whether fishing, boating, snowmobiling or playing cards, he always knew how to make everyone smile and have a good time.

Harley retired from Ladish Co. and Precision Frame and Alignment Co. in Cudahy, WI. He will move into eternal life with his family and many friends, and will forever be missed by the racing community and by those that loved him.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, August 24th, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Monday, August 24th, 2020 10:00am - 11:00am
    Bethel Home - Memorial Gardens Green Space
    225 N. Eagle Street
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Visitation will be held at Memorial Gardens Green Space next to Bethel Home
  • Service

    Monday, August 24th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Monday, August 24th, 2020 11:00am
    Bethel Home - Memorial Gardens Green Space
    225 N. Eagle Street
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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