On Sunday, January 21, 2024, Andrew Charles Wilken accepted the heavenly embrace of his late wife, Lois, of sixty-nine years. He was ninety-three. Andy was born in New Orleans, LA and then, as an infant, moved to Bristol, CT, where he lived until moving to New Mexico in 1957.
Andy was proud to serve his country as an electronics technician aboard the USS Everett F. Larson, a gearing class destroyer of the United States Navy. In keeping with his reputation for an industrious work ethic and sharp mind, he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Occupation Service Medal (Europe).
Continuing his career of exceptional service in the national interest, Andy accepted a position with Sandia National Laboratories, where he enjoyed a thirty-seven-year career. He proudly retired as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, a designation he received for outstanding contributions in the areas of electronics, telemetry, radar, and instrumentation. By the end of his career, Andy was regarded as a nationwide expert in his field. Never one to take himself too seriously-if asked about his accomplishments-he would often deflect by recounting how his day went on the golf course or explaining with a grin how he saved a buck at the house by building stair railing out of old ski-poles.
When Andy wasn't serving his country, he was serving his local community. Sports were often his preferred avenue for giving back. And even though he held titles such as Mile-High Little League's President and Commissioner of Baseball, one would be just as likely to find him working on the concession stand or making countless trips to the concrete plant in Tijeras Canyon for barrels of gypsum for the fields. These acts were a small token of his good nature; an ode to his love of the game of baseball, which was reflected in his parenting, coaching, and leadership. Mile-High truly benefited from his hard work and integrity. The legacy continued with several baseball and softball playing grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If anyone needed a helping hand, Andy was always just around the corner, with a can-do glint in his eye and a solution in his back pocket. When family, friends, or neighbors had a problem, Andy was always there-quietly and kindly offering to help in any way he was needed.
It is with solemn hands and full hearts that Andy is survived by his four children: Wendy Jackson and husband Bill, Charles Wilken and wife Brenda, Glenn Wilken and wife D'vera, and Leslie Deller and husband Ryan; grandchildren: Richard Robillard Jr. and wife Ruth, Kris Wilken and wife Katie, Josh Wilken and wife Katie, Luke Wilken and wife Julie, Zach Wilken and wife Heather, Arie Deller and wife Miranda, Sean Deller, and Royce Deller and wife Kaylee; many beloved great-grandchildren; his sister Beverly Gallus; his sister-in-law Charlene Wilken; and his brother-in-law Harry Hintz. He was preceded in death by his wife and soulmate, Lois; his brother Leon Wilken; and his sister Geraldine Tabacco. Every person that was lucky enough to meet Andy will mourn his passing but find comfort in knowing that he will continue to watch over his family and friends, just as he always has.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his name to St. Jude Children's Hospital.