Grygla – Dale Melvin “Shorty” Wilkens, 74, of Grygla, passed away on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at his residence.
On May 25, 1948 Shorty was born to Melvin and Clara (Barstad) Wilkens in Thief River Falls. He attended Elementary School in Grygla and graduated from Goodridge High School in 1966. He went to Northland Junior College, Thief River Falls, while he waited for his future bride, Kaye, to finish high school. Shorty was united in marriage to Kaye Smith, also from Grygla, on May 31, 1969 at Grace Lutheran Church, Grygla.
Shorty and “his bride” moved to St. Paul, where he worked for MNDOT. They moved to Warren in 1970, where he worked as a sign man for Marshall County for 14 years. After his dad retired in 1985, he was recruited to take over his father’s position with Marshall County as a blade man in the Grygla area. Shorty retired from Marshall County after 41 years of service in 2011.
During his retirement years, Shorty did “Grandpa Day Care” and loved every minute of this time. He enjoyed traveling with family throughout the U.S., up to Barrow, AK, and going to Germany to be with their son, Gary, and family.
He always was quick with “one-liners!” He loved being with family, taking them for rides on all the machinery, camping, and bonfires in the yard. Playing cards with friends and family was more of a social time than a competitive time while being together. Shorty was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and will be missed by all.
Shorty is survived by his bride, Kaye, Grygla; children, Gary, Rawlins, WY, Shawna (Chris) Jelen, Warroad, and Jennifer (Tony Christianson) Mosher, Roseau; eight grandchildren, Kassandra (Donovan) Nordby, Colleen (Andrew) Nord, Dale Wilkens, Michael Jelen, Sarah Wilkens, Robert, Rikkayla, and Kameron Mosher; four great-grandchildren, Domanic and Thora Nordby, Braxley and Booker Nord; sisters, Marles Larson, Duluth, and Janice Peterson, Grygla; as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Shorty was preceded in death by his parents; mother- and father-in-law, Hazel and Thomas Smith; brothers-in-law, Bruce Larson, Sheldon Peterson, William Smith, Sam Askeland, Arnold Stanley, Kenneth Carlson, Ronald Smith; sisters-in-law, Bernice Askeland, Helen Rein, and Marlene (Patty) Schramske; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 22, 2022 at Grace Lutheran Church, Grygla, with Vicar Marilyn Grafstrom officiating.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, 2022, with a prayer service at 6 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Grygla.
Burial will be at St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery, Grygla.