Donald Elmer Wickstrom

A Man Deeply Rooted In The Hilmar Community

About the Service

Public Viewing will be held Thursday November 9, 2017 from 4 to 6 pm at Allen Mortuary. A Graveside Service will be held at 10:30 am Friday November 10, 2017 at North Hilmar Cemetery with a Memorial Service following at 12 noon at Hilmar Covenant Church.

Donald Elmer Wickstrom passed away on Tuesday October 31, 2017. Born on the family farm in Hilmar to Elmer and Esther Wickstrom, Don grew up with his younger siblings Marvin, Doris, and Jerry. He helped his father with the farm work, his mechanical skills showing early in his ability to repair the John Deer tractor and operate the corn chopper and elevator. He graduated from Hilmar High School in 1943, being most active in the farm programs and on the track team.

During the first years of WWII, Don helped out on the farms of several neighbors already called into service. He was drafted into the Navy in 1945 attending the Basic Engineering School at Great Lakes, Illinois, and serving on the USS Mississippi and USS Wyoming out of Norfork, Virginia. He was honorably discharged in 1947.

He returned to Hilmar and began working for Art Olson in the garage and gas station at Third and Lander in Hilmar. That is where he met his future wife, Clarice Lundell, who was delivering her father’s radio for repair at Ed Olson’s shop next door. They were married on July 12, 1952. Don soon took over the garage and ran it with his brother and partner Jerry for 62 years. Don’s specialty repair were carburetors and Jerry’s brakes. They closed in 2014.

Don was pleased to have taken an active part in the Hilmar community to which his family was deeply rooted through his grandparents, the O. A. Wickstroms and P. A. Johnsons, who were among the first Swedish families in the Hilmar Colony in 1903. He was a life-long member of the Hilmar Covenant Church serving as usher and board member as well as maintaining and driving the church bus. He and Jerry joined the volunteer fire department with the agreement that one of them would be available whenever the engine was called out. The fire station was just across Lander at the time. He enjoyed competing in the bowling leagues at Turlock Lanes for several decades. He flipped pancakes for the fireman’s breakfast and marinated turkey for the band booster’s dinner. He and his wife belonged to the Hilmar-Irwin-Stevenson Historical Society. He loved to drive, taking his family on weekend trips to Wawona or Mission Springs and cross-country trips such as to the New York World’s Fair, and to visit relatives in North Dakota, Washington, and Ohio.

Don died shortly after being diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer. He is survived by: children Brian Wickstrom, Bruce (Janet) Wickstrom, Karen (David) McShea, and Kim (Tim) Painton; brothers Marvin (Fern) and Jerry (Sandy); and, grandchildren Aleksander Wickstrom, Tyler and McKenna Painton, Timothy McShea, and Brent Wickstrom; and, many nieces and nephews. Don is preceded in death by his wife Clarice, sister Doris, young brother Stanton, and parents Elmer and Esther.

A Public Viewing will be held Thursday November 9, 2017 from 4 to 6 pm at Allen Mortuary. A Graveside Service will be held at 10:30 am Friday November 10, 2017 at North Hilmar Cemetery with a Memorial Service following at 12 noon at Hilmar Covenant Church. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial gifts be given to the charity of your choice. Please share your memories at www.AllenMortuary.com.

 


Remembrances

  1. Don and Clarice were special people and I adored them both.
    They are together again with our Lord and that warms my heart. My prayers go out to Don’s children…Brian, Bruce, Karen and Kim as well as Marv and Fern, Jerry and Sandy and all the grandchildren.

    Sending my love to you, Penny Forgnone

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