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Obituary - Lanny Ernest Wilke

Lanny Ernest Wilke, 76, passed away at Northern Montana Hospital due to natural causes Thursday, June 22, 2023. 

Cremation has taken place, and services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel. 

Lanny's family has suggested memorial donations be made in his memory to the Lanny E. Wilke Memorial Scholarship at MSUN, or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.

Please visit Lanny's online memorial page to send a card or leave a message of condolence for his family at

Lanny was born November 28, 1946, in Havre to Ernest and Jacqueline (Partridge) Wilke. He was raised on the family farm south of Dodson, MT. He graduated from Dodson High School in 1964 and attended Montana State College in Bozeman for a year before enlisting in the U.S. Navy as a seaman. He met and married Yoshimi Itokazu while serving in Okinawa, Japan. Over the next 25-plus years, they spent time at duty stations all over the U.S. and in Japan, and he retired with numerous commendations as a LCDR.

Upon Lanny's discharge, they moved to Montana where Lanny coached girl's basketball in Dodson for a couple of years. For the next several years, he drove to Havre from Malta daily to attend Northern Montana College, where he received his bachelor's degree in education. He then taught at Montana State University–Northern while he obtained his master's degree, and continued to teach there for 26-plus years. He was involved with the H. Earl Clack Museum, teaching business classes, and working on his doctorate when he passed away.

Lanny was a kind, gentle man who was dedicated to his family, students, and community. He was a wonderful advisor and always went above and beyond to assist his students and advisees even if it meant walking them across campus to show them the right office or traveling across the country with his SIFE kids. He loved reading, learning, gardening, fishing, and watching baseball, especially his Seattle Mariners. Lanny loved Montana and would tell people what was amazing about his home state. He was a man of many words but even more actions.

He was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Hagen) Wilke; brother-in-law Fred Christenot; parents, Ernest and Jacqueline Wilke; and all of his grandparents.

Lanny is survived by his wife, Yoshimi Wilke of Havre; children, John Wilke of Belgrade, Jan (Jason) Vogel of Memphis, TN, and Jennifer (Jason) Potter of Johnstown, CO; granddaughter, Allyson Vogel; siblings, Andrea Christenot of Havre, Randy (Michelle Kinsey) Wilke of Helena, John (Patti) Wilke of Malta, Holly Jones of Billings, Daniel (Tami) Wilke of Mesa, AZ, Suzanne (Russell) Bender of Billings, and David (Rochelle) Wilke of Mandan, ND; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins; and many beloved students, of whom he was so very proud.


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