Cover photo for Jeanette Irene Wilkerson's Obituary
Jeanette Irene Wilkerson Profile Photo
1937 Jeanette 2022

Jeanette Irene Wilkerson

July 10, 1937 — April 13, 2022

Jeanette Irene Wilkerson, the daughter of Christian Walter and Esther Marie (Obrecht) Christensen was born July 10, 1937, in Harlan, Iowa and died April 13, 2022, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, Iowa at the age of 84 years, 9 months, and 3 days.

Jeanette was baptized and confirmed at the Methodist Church in Harlan, Iowa and at 17 years of age accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. She attended rural schools then graduated from the Tennant High School with the Class of 1955. Jeanette traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend secretarial school and was placed at the Pentagon. While working at the Pentagon she met her future husband James Wilkerson.

On September 15, 1956, she was united in marriage to James L. Wilkerson at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They were blessed with four children David, Dean, Sherri, and Jeff. They lived at Camp Lejeune until James was discharged from the service. During the early years of their marriage along with raising the children she taught Sunday school and played the piano for services. They moved to Corley, Iowa then moved to various other communities in southwest Iowa and northern Missouri until they moved to Exira, Iowa in 1968. Jeanette spent many hours working in her vegetable garden raising fresh produce for the family. James died from injuries from an auto accident on August, 28, 1972. Along with caring for her family Jeanette managed the Viking Inn at the Valley near Interstate 80. She also started working for the Yankee Travel Agency in Denison, Iowa. The family moved to Denison and Jeanette continued to work at the Travel Agency for a numbers of years then managed Cronk’s Café in Denison for a while. In 1980 the family returned to Exira. Jeanette babysat and helped raise several foster children along with selling Avon products. Later she did data entry at CDS in Harlan and also owned and operated the Elk Horn-Kimballton Review for several years. Jeanette later sold the newspaper but continued to work at CDS until she retired. During retirement she enjoyed preparing taxes for H&R Block for many years. In her later years she enjoyed going to auctions and garage sales.

Jeanette attended the Exira Christian Church. She served as President of the Exira School Board for ten years.
Preceding her in death was her husband James L. Wilkerson; her son Dean A. Wilkerson; her parents; her brothers Jerry Christensen and David Christensen; her sisters-in-law Betty Wilkerson, Sue Wright, and Jewell Snell; and her brother-in-law Clyde Wilkerson.

Survivors include her children David “Wilk” and wife Rhonda Wilkerson of Exira, Iowa, Sherri Wilkerson-Petersen of Brayton, Iowa, and Jeff and wife Sheila Wilkerson of Sioux City. Iowa; 6 grandchildren Blake and wife Megan Wilkerson, of Exira, Iowa, Heather Petersen of Omaha, Nebraska, Seth Petersen of Audubon, Iowa, Teagan Wilkerson of Nashville, Tennessee, Trent Wilkerson and Nikki Wilkerson both of Sioux City, Iowa; 6 great grandchildren; her sister Judy and husband Larry Gillam of DeSoto, Missouri, and sister-in-law Evelyn Kirby and brother-in-law Wayne Wilkerson both of Lafayette, Tennessee; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family will meet with friends Thursday evening, April 28, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the
Kessler Funeral Home in Exira, Iowa. Funeral services will be by Pastor Glen Meyers on Friday morning, April
29, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at the Exira Christian Church in Exira, Iowa. Interment will be in the Harlan Cemetery
in Harlan, Iowa. The honorary casket bearers will be Rylan Stephens, Talan Petersen, James Wilkerson, and
Aaron Wilkerson. The casket bearers will be Jeff Wilkerson, Blake Wilkerson, Seth Petersen, Trent Wilkerson,
Robert Gillam, and Trevor Beckendorf.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeanette Irene Wilkerson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 28, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Exira

234 West South Street, Exira, IA 50076

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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