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Former Marion Local teacher, athletic director Wilker dies at 69

Stan Wilker, former athletic director and teacher at Marion Local High School, passed away at his home Monday following an illness. He was 69.

Marion Local football coach Tim Goodwin said there are ADs. And then there are ADs like Wilker.

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“He would do anything for you. Stan really took (his job) it to heart,” Goodwin said. “He’d change clothes and go out and get diamonds ready. He’d put his tie back on and do the administrative part. He was a unique guy.

“There’s a lot of (memories), obviously. He was the AD and assistant footbahis ll coach when I got here, so he definitely took me under his wing. He showed me the Marion Local way and how we do things here. That was huge for me because I was young and not from the area.”

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Wilker lived in Montezuma with his wife, Janet Muether, of 45 years. He is survived by children, Nick and Gwen (Homan) Wilker of New Bremen, Jill and Aric Rutschilling, and Lesley and Justin Griesdorn all of Coldwater. He is also survived by eight grandchildren.

Wilker was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where he served as an usher, lector, CCD teacher and past president of the parish council. He was also actively involved with the Lake Improvement Association and in 2013 was named Guardian of the Lake for Grand Lake St. Marys, awarded to an individual “who has taken extraordinary action to improve Grand Lake St. Marys.”

“Stan was not only a phenomenal LIA board member, but a mentor and a friend,” said Nick Rentz, president of the LIA. “We could count on him to carry far more than his weight when it came to improving our lake – and he always did it with a smile. Stan will certainly be missed.”

Wilker, who served two years in the U.S. Army, started his teaching and coaching career at Bradford High School in 1972-73. He worked at Marion Local from 1973-2009, serving as AD from 1979-2009.

“His wit. His humor,” Goodwin said of what contributed to Wilker’s success. “ He was athletic director so every once in awhile people would be upset about officials or their seats or they didn’t get their season tickets the way they wanted it. Stan had this ability to disarm the situation with one funny one-liner. The other person couldn’t help but stop being mad or upset and just laugh. He was just very quick witted.

“He’s so approachable and fun loving. This hurts. This hurts. Even though he’s been out of the school system directly he would still stop by, still considering himself a Marion Local Flyer for sure. There are so many things I could say about Stan.”

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church with Rev. Ron Wilker presiding. Burial will follow at Our Lady of Guadalupe Cemetery in Montezuma.

Visitation will be held 2-8 p.m. Thursday and 9-9:45 a.m. Friday at Hogenkamp Funeral Home in St. Henry. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Stan Wilker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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