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A   C E L E B R A T I O N   O F   L I F E

David Wilkens

I N  H O N O R  O F

J U L Y  8 t h, 1 9 4 6    -   D E C E M B E R  1 5 t h, 2 0 2 1

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Please join us

January 16th, 2022

2:00 pm

Glendale City Seventh-day

Adventist Church

610 East California Avenue

Glendale, CA 

Don’t forget proof of vaccination!! The church seats 800 people, LOTS of space for social distancing. Masks are required!!!

A special reception to follow at

The Casa / Parkview of Glendale

426 Piedmont Avenue

Glendale, CA

(just under a mile away)

The service was recorded, feel free to watch it

here.

The reception site will be open from 12:30 to 1:40 for those reluctant to attend afterwards.  See our tribute to David, meet his family, lots of pictures, David’s clown collection, etc. Come early and beat the crowd.

Our Safety Procedures

Limited parking underground on Naranja Drive entrance.
(Around the backside).

David H. Wilkens

 

It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of David Wilkens on December 15th, 2021, at the age of 75.

 

David’s life passion was for the senior population.  David said many times, seniors were his hobby, his love and his life.  He was also musically talented, well traveled and a true friend.    

 

David was born July 8, 1946 in Dover, Delaware to John and Winnifred Wilkens.  Along with older brother Don, he grew up on the family poultry farm in Marydel, Delaware.  His entire family was active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and David would continue to be throughout his life.  David learned to play the piano at a young age; his mother, Winnifred was a registered nurse and an accomplished pianist.  David attended W.C. Moffet Elementary School and for high school, Shenandoah Valley Academy in New Market, Virginia, graduating in 1965.  He kept in contact as an active alumnus and even organized his 40th class reunion from California.  During his teenage years his parents were called to Tappahannock, Virginia to open the new Tidewater Memorial Hospital. This is where it all started David said, the whole family worked there.  “I remember doing just about everything that could be done by a teenage boy, I had the time of my life,” David reminisced.  Another early dream was to move to California so he enrolled at Loma Linda University, where he majored in Sociology and Music.  After graduating he returned to Tidewater Memorial Hospital where for the next 5 years he served as Purchasing Agent and Personnel Director.  He then took a year off for a tour of the United States and part of Europe.  In 1976, David was hired as Nursing Scheduling Coordinator at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.  Later he became licensed in Nursing Home Administration. 

 

In September of 1980 David was hired by Berg Senior Services and thus began his forty-year career span with the company as Executive Director of retirement and later assisted living communities.  He briefly worked at Westwood Horizons in Westwood Village and Casa Orange but he was at Casa Glendale for 15 years until 1999.   During this time he started a radio talk show with Dotty Newell called “Senior Living Points of View” which aired on KIEV 87am Tuesday evenings. 

 

 In addition, David was active in the church where he served as choir director at various times with both the Hollywood and Azure Hills Seventh-day Adventist Churches.  David and Lorraine Thomas founded and organized “Singles in Action” (SIA) within the church in 1978.  Activities for the spiritual, educational and social club ranged from seminars, retreats, outings and travel destinations, which included National Parks, Hawaii and even several international trips. Each month they had MVIP (meet very interesting people) nights at the church.  David’s life was greatly enriched by SIA.  He made many lifelong friends and organized the 30th year reunion of SIA at his home in Whittier.  Another highlight of David’s life was spending the last years with his father.  John lived with David and later moved into Casa Glendale.  They took many trips together and his father volunteered at the church.  The bond was very close.

 

With the assisted living communities, David found a place to combine his many talents.  He endeared himself to all his residents and staff over the years; to them he was “our David.”   He was known for his attention to detail; his mind full of ideas and plans, he left notes for his staff and had an alphabetized notebook to keep track of things.  His creative and artistic touches were everywhere including the outside landscaping and the monthly newsletter.  Above all else, his real forte was marketing and organizing parties and large events to bring people together.  Since the seniors had limited mobility and access to the outside community, he would bring the community to them.  Every day was to be celebrated.  A Picnic in the Park was his signature event at Casa Glendale, it included a vintage car show, live musical entertainment, clowns, food and magic.  Each year got more spectacular!

 

When the Casa Glendale lease was sold in 1999, David worked for two years at The Bridge in San Gabriel, where he again created his magic. In 2002 David went back with Berg Senior Services to run Posada Whittier on Painter Avenue. He flourished at the Posada, embraced the Whittier community and eventually bought his beloved Murphy Hill condo.  David’s creativity was on display each year as the Posada seniors participated in the Whittier Christmas parade!  After 10 years, when David expressed a desire to retire at 66, Posada Whittier was sold in 2012.  In 2017, David’s life came full circle when the Bergs purchased the aging Casa Glendale after David, growing restless in retirement, agreed to come back and run it.  He lived at the community during the week and commuted home to Whittier on weekends.  David was eager to do what he did best and started all over again.  Plans were under way for an extensive remodel of Casa Glendale and he chose the new name, Parkview of Glendale.  The exterior construction was nearly complete when the pandemic hit in 2020.  New residents were not admitted, due to construction, so with only 24 residents left, it was decided to close Parkview at the end of 2020.  David again retired.   After getting vaccinated in 2021, a small retirement party was held in his honor in the Bay Area.  In July, his former staff surprised him with a birthday party at the Parkview.  Later this year David also organized a 90th birthday party for a dear friend from the church.

 

David was diagnosed with terminal cancer around the first of December and passed away two weeks later.  He is survived by his brother, Don, sister-in-law, Lois, niece Karen McClure, her husband Scott, their sons Andrew (wife Kaitlyn) and Jonathan, nephew Mark and his wife Melinda and their daughters Julianne Calhoun (husband Travis) and Kirsten Wilkens.  David will also, be dearly missed by numerous cousins, other relatives and his wide circle of friends.

 

Please join us in paying tribute to the exceptionally, fabulous David Wilkens. We invite you to share your thoughts, stories and fond memories either online with the Forum tab or at the reception.