Obituary:Maurice E. Wilken
Maurice (Morey) Wilken was born Feb. 13, 1933, on his grandfather’s ranch near Heppner Junction, Ore.
When he was about 4, his family moved to Peshastin Creek in the Wenatchee Valley. Later, they moved to Dryden where his parents established a pear orchard. He attended Dryden school, graduating in 1951.
After graduation, Morey was employed by Pholman Motors in Wenatchee, working in the parts department. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953 and extended his time by one year, which allowed him to choose service in artillery. He was honorably discharged on June, 1956, having attained the rank of sergeant.
After discharge, he attended Western Washington University, working summers in wheat harvest in Oregon. He graduated with a teaching certificate in 1960, and a master’s degree in education in 1965. He taught seventh- and eighth-grades in Manson, Wash., for 10 years, purchased a small orchard, and spent summers working for the Lake Chelan Ranger District.
While employed by the ranger district, Morey met the love of his life, Lois Howard. They were married in July 1971, and bought a small orchard near Brewster, Wash., which they operated for 20 years.
He worked for the Okanogan County Health District as an environmental health specialist, retiring in 1995 after nine years of service. That experience opened the opportunity to become a state-licensed designer of septic systems, and he established “PressureLines”, a home-based business, which he operated as long as health permitted.
In 2003, he joined the Okanogan Valley Alliance Church, and activities there became a big part of his life. He served in the AWANA mission to youth by listening to Bible verses being recited, as a board member, and was responsible for the care of church grounds.
He is survived by his wife, Lois Wilken; step-son, Darrell Howard of Pepeekeo, Hawaii; and step-grandson, Justin Howard of Los Angeles, Calif.; step-son, Brandt Howard of Okanogan; step-grandchildren, Cassey Howard, Pullman, Wash., and Brock Howard of Okanogan; sister, Georgia Rich of Dryden; nephew, Brad Rich (Chris) of Dryden; niece, Kimberly Rich of Yakima; and aunts, uncles and cousins.
A private graveside service will be at Okanogan City Cemetary. A memorial celebration will be at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 20, 2012, at Okanogan Valley Alliance Church, 111 John St., Okanogan.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel was in care of arrangements.