Neal Robert Wilke, 85

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Neal Wilke left this earth and into the arms of Jesus his Savior on Sept. 30, 2018. He passed away at Lakeview Care Center in Bigfork. Neal was born on June 29, 1933, to Bert and Frances Wilke in Fortine. From a young age Neal had a passion for the beautiful wooded area around Lincoln County. Out of high school he served his country in the Air Force during the Korean conflict. For four years he served overseas and for four more years he served back in the United States. After his honorable discharge he went back to Fortine and worked for several logging operations in Lincoln County.

In 1965, he met Frances Ellen Karstetter who instantly became the love of his life and wife for 42 years until her death.

Neal was preceded in death by his brother, Herb Wilke; his sisters, Freida Miller and Naomi Burkgart; and his wife, Frances Wilke.

Neal is survived by his son and his wife, Kelly and Rebecca Wilke; his stepson, Anthony “Tony” Kastella; his stepson, Stephen “Steve” Kastella; his stepdaughter and her husband, Suzan and Cliff Kawulok; nephew, Dana Miller; niece, Ruth (Elma) Miller; nephew, Jay Burkgart; niece, Kay Bush; niece and her husband, Mary and Paul Harris; nephew and his wife, Bert and Cindy Burkgart; nephew and his wife, Frank and Gwen Burkgart; niece and her husband, Bea and Murray Radford; and many other relatives.

There will be no services upon request of Neal. Instead, there will be a celebration of his life in Fortine during the summer of 2019.

The family would like to thank both the staff of Lakeview Care Center and Kalispell Regional Medical Center Hospice for the wonderful care that he received during the last days of his life.

Austin Funeral & Cremation Services in Whitefish is caring for Neal’s family. Please visit www.austinfh.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Neal.

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