Victor Walter “Walt” Wicks, 85, died Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.
Funeral services were scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chester. The Rev. Paul Hanson of Billings and Cheryl Muncy of Chester officiated. Burial was at the Chester Cemetery, followed by a luncheon at the church. Walt was born Oct. 17, 1921, at the family farm north of Inverness near the Canadian border. He was the youngest of five children born to Florence “Flossie” Evans and John Wicks. He attended several elementary schools, then spent his junior high and high school years in Rudyard, where he graduated in 1939. He continued his education at Northern Montana College in Havre, but was called home to help with the farming operations. Walt met the love of his life, Pearl Grace Jabes, at a dance, and after a two-year courtship they were married on Dec. 30, 1950, in Havre. They made their home on the Wicks farm for three years, then purchased the Jabes place near Chester. They built a home in Chester and moved to town in 1958. The Wicks family expanded their business in 1961 when they bought a farm near Eastend, Saskatchewan. They operated this place until 1996, then eventually sold it. Walt officially retired from farming in 2000, but continued to help his sons farm in the years that followed. Walt was a loyal member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, serving as president of the church council, singing in the church choir, and supporting Lutheran Brotherhood. He served as a director on the Liberty County Development Corporation for many years and was a founding board member of the Liberty County Arts Council. He also served on the Farmer’s Union board and was a member of Sons of Norway. In the 1970s, he was an active participant in a local men’s “barbershop” singing group. Walt loved all sports, especially basketball. He played basketball in high school, college and adult leagues, then served as a high school referee for many years. His other sporting activities included softball, bowling, ping-pong, fishing and hunting. He often reminisced about those yearly big-game hunting expeditions with local friends into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Walt remained an avid sports fan throughout his life and always supported his children and grandchildren in their sporting, as well as academic and musical endeavors. During his high school years, Walt played the trombone and sang in the choir. He loved music and encouraged his children to sing in fact, the Wicks family would often sing and harmonize together on road trips in the car. He and Pearl were part of the local square-dancing circuit for more than 20 years. In his retirement years Walt enjoyed wood-working projects. Walt was also a good “fixer-upper” and was a recycler. Walt and Pearl made several wonderful trips during their life, including to Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Hawaii and Alaska. Walt enjoyed good health until 2004, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Exceptional medical care and treatments allowed him to remain fairly active, but in recent weeks his health deteriorated. He was fortunate to remain at home and receive personal care from his loving family during his final days. Walt was preceded in death by his parents; his oldest son, Russel John Wicks, who died Feb. 9, 2006; brothers, Norman, Hubert, and Bertram Wicks; and sister, Adeline Seuser. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pearl Wicks of Chester; daughter, Karen (John) Haughey of Billings; sons, Dale (Teresa) Wicks of Billings and Dave (Amy Sangwin) Wicks of Chester; daughter-in-law, Maureen Wicks of Ledger; 11 grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces. Memorials may be given to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the Chester Swimming Pool Fund, the C.J.I. Education Foundation or donor’s choice. Arrangements were by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.