Date of Birth
Date of Death
LARRY WILKISONAge 64, of Elburn, passed away at his home, Friday evening, July 25, 2008. Surrounded by his family and friends, Larry "fought the good fight" to the very end. A NASCAR fan to the very core, Larry finished the last lap of his life’s race, running on nothing but sheer will and the power of love. Through the eyes of that Love, those left behind saw Larry take his Victory Lap and join a host of heroes gone before him. BORN / EARLY YEARSHe was born September 24, 1943 in Geneva, IL, the son of Ralph and June (Johnson) Wilkison.They made their home in the big house opposite Fisherman’s Inn on Main Street Road but moved to Elburn when Larry was just a boy. In 1946 they moved to the Paul Elliot farm on Watson Road. It was a great place to grow up as a kid and Larry would return there as a father with a family twice more in his life-time.MARRIAGE & FAMILYHe met Nancy Frantz at a basketball game in 8th grade when Elburn played Sugar Grove. Larry was on that team with John Howard, Dave Anderson and Chris Halsey, to name a few. It was 1957 and they fell head over heels for each other. That summer, Larry showed his 4-H cattle at all the county fairs and the Sandwich Fair became their first date. In the coming year they would be crowned King and Queen of the last Freshman class at the old Elburn High School. At Kaneland, Larry played football his freshman year and through high school served for a time on the Student Council and was active in FFA (Future Farmers of America). One infamous year, Larry, Chris Halsey and Bill Ford set student politics on its ear when they ran for office. They may have lost the election but they made "history" that still brings smiles today. Summers found Larry working "Buster" Probst, his favorite farm-boss, as well as a short stint as a "plumbers assistant" with Fred Goetz. Graduating with the class of 1961, Larry took a job at the Elburn Packing Plant. He worked with Rich Mueller, Fred Proctor and Gordy Siebert on the kill-floor for twelve years until the plant closed and he became a machinist at the Thryselius Machine Shop where he continued until ill health required a full-time-fight against cancer. .MARRIAGE:On September 7, 1963 Larry and Nancy were married at the Sugar Grove Methodist Church.They made their home at Art Foster’s house (Larry’s FFA teacher), in the upstairs apartment. In the Spring of 1965 they moved to the Lucy Sears house on First Street & Pierce. Their son, Keith, was born there in 1965 and Lori followed in 1968. In 1969 they returned to the Paul Elliot farm where Larry had spent his growing up years. Except for a brief time in Troxel, the Elliot farm was home until 1983 when they moved to Elburn. Larry built their new home on the edge of Lion’s Park. He didn’t know it then, but that park and the Elburn Lion’s Club would become his second home. His hard work and devotion achieved many things for the club and his remarkable memory coupled with an "off-the-wall" sense of humor made countless friends through the years. MEMBERSHIPSLarry joined the Elburn Lion’s Club in 1986. In 1987 he joined the Park Board and served to 2007. From 1988 to 2007, Larry was also head bartender. As president from 1992-1993, he raised the money to buy the Club’s first Leader Dog for the blind. Larry helped mow the park grounds, chaired various committees and worked with his fellow Lions on a multitude of events and projects. Even when he became ill, Larry kept things cookin’ at the park. For many years he was the Sweet Corn King and later specialized in "Wing Dings"! In 1998, Larry was given the Melvin Jones Award, the highest award a Lion can receive and in 2008 was awarded the Golden Lion Award for above and beyond service to the Lions organization. Recently, Larry’s friends arranged for another special award in the form of a personal, framed letter from NASCAR icon, Tony Stewart. Larry’s love of NASCAR began in the late 1970’s, when he saw his first big race at Daytona Beach. He became an instant fan of Darrel Waltrip and for years, collected and displayed Waltrip memorabilia until Tony Stewart rounded the corner and edged out Darrel to take the lead on the "Wilkison Wall of Fame". For all of his work at Lion’s Park and his passion for NASCAR, Larry’s greatest love was his family. Among their many memories, trips to Disney World with each of his children and grandchildren will always rank high on the "Top Ten" list of good times. Near the top of that same list, is a 40th Anniversary trip to Las Vegas when Larry and Nancy renewed their vows, complete with an "Elvis" ceremony. FAMILY MEMBERSIn addition to his childhood sweetheart and devoted bride, Nancy,Larry leaves two children and four grandchildren: Keith L. Wilkison of Cortland, IL and his two sons, Timothy and Jeremy;Lori K. (Steve) Brewer of Rochelle, IL and their two daughters, Cheyann and Kelsey;One sister: Sharon "Skip" (Harold) Heussner of Tina, MO and their family:He is survived as well, by many nieces, nephews, cousins, dear relatives and good friends.PRECEDED Larry is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and June Wilkison.VISITATION / FUNERAL His visitation will be held Wednesday, July 30, from 1pm to 9 pm at Conley Funeral Home. A brief Lion\\\’s Service will be held at 8pm with memorial services to follow Thursday morning at 10am at the funeral home. A reception will follow at Lion’s Park. For information call 630-365-6414 (800-8-CONLEY) or visit www.conleycare.com.MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Larry’s name to benefit the Elburn Lion’s Club and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the LARRY WILKISON MEMORIAL and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at www.conleycare.com. For information, please visit our website or call 630-365-6414 (800-8-CONLEY).
VISITATION / FUNERAL His visitation will be held Wednesday, July 30, from 1pm to 9 pm at Conley Funeral Home. A brief Lion\\\’s Service will be held at 8pm with memorial services to follow Thursday morning at 10am at the funeral home. A reception will follow at Lion’s Park.
MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Larry’s name to benefit the Elburn Lion’s Club and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the LARRY WILKISON MEMORIAL and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at www.conleycare.com. For information, please visit our website or call 630-365-6414 (800-8-CONLEY).