Richard Joseph Ilk, 87

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Richard Joseph Ilk, 87, of Blooming Prairie, died at Prairie Manor Jan. 23.

Richard Ilk

He was born April 1, 1923, to Joseph and Mary (Secrest) Ilk in St. Paul. He grew up in the Ellendale area before moving to Owatonna where he graduated from high school in 1940. He received his Bachelor’s Degree with distinction in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota on Oct. 24, 1944. Richard joined the Navy, enrolling in the Officers Training Program at Cornell University in New York. After he graduated as an Ensign, he moved to Memphis and later to Astoria, Ore. where he was assigned to work for NACA (now NASA) as an aeronautical engineer. From there, he was assigned to Moffet Field in Mountain View, Calif. where he designed and tested airplanes. On June 30, 1947 he married Margery Olson in Hector, Minn. They made their home in Palo Alto, Calif. In 1949 they moved to Blooming Prairie where Richard worked with his father at Elk Oil Co. until 1979. He worked as a tax preparer at H & R Block for 25 years. Richard enjoyed being a Boy Scout leader for 17 years. He and Marge enjoyed going to auctions and collecting antiques. Richard especially had a passion for antique clocks. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family and grandkids. He was a member of American Legion Post 52.

Survivors include his wife, Marge; children, Craig (Carole) of Pittsburgh, Nancy of Tucson, Mark (Jana) of Sacramento and Sue (Bryan) Rossow of Austin; grandchildren, Laena, Mark Jr., Joseph, Mariesa, Kyle, Kasey, Tom and Becky; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters, Donna Linse of Burnsville, Ruth Uselman of Hemit, Calif.; nieces and nephews.

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He was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Joshua.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26. A private funeral service will be held at a later date with interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.