MOUNT VERNON, WA (March 2, 2013) – A memorial service for Ruth S. Wilkens, wife of retired Evangelical Covenant Church pastor John C. Wilkens, will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday at Bethany Covenant Church. She died Thursday.
Wilkens, 75, was born on October 28, 1937, in Tucson, Arizona. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal music at Azusa Pacific University (then Pacific College) in 1959. That year, she also married John Wilkens, who was dean of students at the school.
Following her graduation, the couple served as missionaries in the Philippines until 1961, when they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado. The couple subsequently returned to Azusa, where John resumed his former position, and then moved to Kansas, where he was an administrator at Miltonvale Wesleyan College.
In 1973, Ruth earned her Master of Arts degree in English from Kansas State University. John accepted a call to Brantford Evangelical Covenant Church in Clyde, Kansas, where the couple ministered. She taught youth Sunday school classes and Bible studies.
Ruth also taught English at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kansas, for more than 25 years. Students talked with her frequently about matters of faith, oftentimes in moments of crisis.
When the couple moved to Washington, Ruth taught part-time at the Skagit Valley College Oak Harbor. For many years, she also taught a creative writing class at the Anacortes Senior Center.
Survivors include her husband and a son, Evangelical Covenant Church pastor Randall Wilkens, and a daughter, Laurel Littrell, as well as two grandchildren.
Interment will be at Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Memorial gifts may be made to Bethany Covenant Church, 1318 S. 18th Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98274.