Keith Wilkinson

Keith Wilkinson, age, 96, died September 27, 2022, in Mesa. Arizona. Keith was born in Madelia, Minnesota on July 17, 1926, to Earl and Goldie Wilkinson. He attended school in Truman, Minnesota graduating in 1944. He enlisted in the Navy and served in Okinawa in World War II. On August 7, 1948, he was united in marriage to Jean Routh. After his discharge he enrolled in Mankato State University graduating in 1949, with a Bachelor of Science degree. He later obtained his Masters of Education.

He began his teaching career in Gruver, Iowa where he taught Industrial Arts and coached basketball. In 1953, he joined the staff at St. James High School in St. James, Minnesota. He taught Physical Education and coached several sports and then went into school administration at the St. James Junior High School.

In 1968, he moved to Red Wing, Minnesota as an Assistant Principal overseeing the construction of the new junior high school. When the building was completed in 1969, he became principal at the new Twin Bluff Junior High School. He later transferred to Central High School in Red Wing as the Senior High School Principal in 1978. After 38 years in education, he retired on July 1, 1987.

Keith was a member of United Lutheran Church where he had served as an usher and on the board. He was also a member of the Libanus Lodge #96, Red Wing Elks Lodge #845 and the Leo C. Peterson American Legion Post #54.

Keith is survived by his wife, Jean of 74 years; daughter, Terri (Lorin) Westman; two sons, Gregory (Nicolle) and Jason (Becky) Wilkinson; grandchildren, Laurie Huotari, Adam and Aaron Westman, Christopher Wilkinson, Forrest and Gavin Wilkinson; 11 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Keith was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Harriet Senesac.

Memorial service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service. Burial will be 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Assembly Lane #2. Memorials preferred to United Lutheran Church, Red Wing Public Schools Foundation or donors choice.

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(1) comment

Ruth Nerhaugen

Keith was an extraordinary school leader. Along with Mick Collins, he built a team of excellent teachers to be creative and serve their students well. He will be missed.

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