By HDN Staff
DODSON Jacqueline (Jackie) Wilke, 74, a music teacher, mentor, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and true friend, died Tuesday, March 12, 2002, at a Havre hospital.
Funeral services will be held on Monday at the Dodson School gym at 11 a.m. with a luncheon to follow at the Dodson Lutheran Church. Interment will be at the Dodson Cemetery.
Jackie was born at her grandmother's home in Malta on Jan. 30, 1928, to Edgar and Bertha (Hoppe) Partridge. She and her brother, Stuart, were raised on the family homestead east of Dodson. Although during her high school years, Jackie worked for her mother, Bertha at the Blue Bird Caf in Dodson, she really preferred working outside with her dad, Edgar. She often talked about how much she loved dancing with her dad and the fact that they went to the Phillips County Fair together and were there from early morning until late at night. She was definitely the apple of her father's eye.
It was at the Blue Bird Caf that she met her soul-mate, Ernest Wilke. The story was told that Ernest ate a lot of pie the summer they met.
She graduated from Dodson High School in 1945 and didn't receive her diploma until 1995 as the war was in process and there were not enough graduating students to have a graduation. Ernest and Jackie became a duet when they were married on Dec. 24, 1944, at the Community Church in Dodson. Oddly enough pie remained one of his favorite foods for the rest of his life.
They lived on a farm and ranch 15 miles south of Dodson. During their 42 years of marriage they were well known in the community and surrounding area for providing music for community functions from community dances to weddings and funerals.
Jackie moved into Dodson after Ernest's death on Oct. 25, 1987. She started a volunteer band at Dodson High School. She volunteered her time and the students learned to play their instruments during their free time. This small beginning developed into classes for band and chorus with Jackie as director and then music aide.
Although Jackie was nearly blind, confined to a wheelchair, and on oxygen to assist her breathing, she continued to be active in the Dodson Lutheran Church where she was the pianist up until her death. She also remained active in the music program at Dodson School.
Jackie was happiest when teaching or talking about one of her "kids" as she called her students. In addition to music and teaching, she enjoyed playing the piano, reading and visiting with family and friends.
Preceding her in death was her husband, Ernest; her parents; her brother, Stuart; grandson, Cory.
Survivors include Lanny (Yoshimi) Wilke of Havre, Andrea Christenot of Havre, Randy (Peggy) Wilke of Helena, John (Patti) Wilke of Dodson, Holly (Rory) Wilke of Laurel, Daniel (Tami) Wilke of Mesa, Ariz., Suzanne Beauregard of Billings, David (Rochelle) Wilke of Billings; 22 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Ernest and Jacqueline Wilke Scholarship Fund, Dodson Lutheran Church, or charity of your choice.
Adams Funeral Home of Malta is in charge of arrangements.