April 17, 2024

LaRell L. Wilkinson

Lenox

LaRell L. Wilkinson, 87, of Ames and Lenox, died Feb. 19, 2024.

Celebration of Life Services for LaRell Wilkinson of Ames and Lenox will be 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Lenox United Presbyterian Church, Lenox, with Rev. Tim Maxa officiating. Burial will be in the North Fairview Cemetery, Lenox. Open Visitation will be 3–7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, at Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center, Corning.

Memorials may be directed to the LaRell Wilkinson Memorial Fund, to be established. Memories and condolences may be left on-line at www.pearsonfuneralhomes.com.

On Feb. 19, 2024, LaRell Lewis Wilkinson entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior at 87 years old. LaRell was deeply loved and who, through the Holy Spirit, loved with graciousness, gratitude and generosity.

LaRell was born Aug. 24, 1936, to Orville and Pauline Wilkinson of whom he was a wonderful son to throughout their lives. He grew up on the Prescott farm, which he would later purchase and farm. He was a deeply devoted husband. LaRell and Coleen were sweethearts until the very end. They met as teenagers at a skating rink in Lenox. Their love for each other grew and on June 9, 1957, they exchanged vows at the Lenox Presbyterian Church, becoming husband and wife. Together they became a farm family with three girls: Melanie, Renae and LeAnne.

With a farm to run he often had hired hands and enjoyed the relationships he formed with them. LaRell was a hands-on doting father. He would sit by the piano listening to his daughters play, help with homework and have many late night talks with them. He was an encourager, strong supporter and had praise abundant.

His grandchildren had an immense love for him and were comforted with his warm hugs. They cherished their times with him: in person, by text or phone call. He was a wonderful listener and asked questions as he was truly interested in the lives of others.

Over the years as a farmer in both Adams and Taylor counties, where his homesteads were on the edge of both counties, located west of Lenox and north of Prescott, he grew crops and raised a variety of livestock (sheep, pigs and cattle). He was known as a quality Black Angus producer. LaRell worked with Iowa State University and Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) along with American Angus Association (EPDs) to improve his herd, keeping careful records to evaluate his cattle operation. He also worked with Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF). He enjoyed looking at genetic information to breed better quality beef. At 71 years old, he was featured in the Angus journal in 2008. He often said he would have liked to have attended college as he was passionate about learning new things. His family was very proud of his accomplishments.

Next to family and farming, music was a love of his. The family enjoyed hearing him sing with his distinct baritone voice. Country music and gospel music shows brought them so much joy. In their early years of marriage, they were involved in square dancing and the girls practiced dancing on top of their daddy’s toes.

Coleen and LaRell moved gracefully and were known to dance to the Tennessee Waltz. For their 50th wedding anniversary they took a tour bus to Nashville, Tennessee, and waltzed in the back of Ryman Auditorium. During several of their retirement years, they sang with the Community Singers at meal sites, nursing homes and assisted living centers. LaRell and Coleen enjoyed drives viewing nature, crops and spotting eagles. At the Iowa Arboretum they did bird watching and toured the flower gardens.

LaRell lived a grace-filled life because of his love for God and Jesus and knew the power of the Holy Spirit working in his life. We will cherish every picture, every smile, every hug, every conversation we were able to have with this very special husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend. We have been blessed.

LaRell is survived by his soulmate and love of his life, Coleen Wilkinson; three daughters: Melanie (Steve) Barker, Renae (Joel) Hansen and LeAnne Wilkinson (Larry Mumford); nine grandchildren: Brad (Amy Erickson) Barker, LaChelle (Ryan) Rosenbaum, Nathan Barker, Larissa (Mark) Bradley, Luke (Sena) Hansen, Briahana (Conner) Brady, Zack Scheel (Holley Hammond), Samantha (JD) Jehn and Blade Rotert and 18 great-grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Orville and Pauline Wilkinson; father- and mother-in-law, Homer and Beatrice Walter; brother, Darwin (Shirley) Wilkinson; sister, Sandra (Daryl) Rechtenbach; brother-in- law, Vernon (Charlotte) Walter; many other cherished relatives, neighbors and friends.