Kenneth R. Wilkison

1923 - 2010


Their Story

Kenneth Robert Wilkison was born on May 26, 1923, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Bert and Myrtle Wanzell Wilkison. He graduated from Davenport High School. His father died on May 11, 1984, and his mother died on February 23, 1970.1 Wilkison married Mary Ann Bolster on February 10, 1948, in Davenport, Iowa. He was a payroll clerk at Eichleay Corporation at the Alcoa Plant in Bettendorf, Iowa, at the time of his marriage.2 Kenneth and Mary Ann had two sons, Kenneth II and Stuart. They were married 62 years.

Wilkison registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, in Davenport, Iowa. At the time of his registration, Wilkison was working at Economy Motors in Rock Island, Illinois.3 He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 11, 1942. Wilkison served with the 103rd Infantry Division including one year in the European Theater. He went overseas on October 5, 1944

The 103rd Infantry Division was activated in 1942 and landed in Marseille, France, in late October 1944. The unit advanced northward crossing into Germany in December 1944. The 103rd had to take up defensive positions in the Alsace-Lorraine area because of the German offensive into the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. The unit advanced in March 1945 into the Rhineland and then moved southward into Bavaria. The division captured the city of Innsbruck in Austria on May 3, 1945.4 He returned from foreign service in July 1945.5

Wilkison was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II.6 Sergeant Wilkison was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on November 6, 1945.7 Wilkison was belatedly presented the Bronze Star at a ceremony at the Davenport Army recruiting station on October 28, 1946.8

Ken retired as a bricklayer after 28 years in 19799 and was a member of Bricklayers Union Local #7 in Rock Island for more than 50 years. He founded their apprenticeship program. He was a member of the Izaak Walton league.10

Kenneth Robert Wilkison, Sr. died on July 14, 2010, at home in Davenport, Iowa. He was 87 years old. He was survived by his wife, Mary Ann; his two sons Kenneth II (Molly) and Stuart; his grandsons, James (Dari) and Josh (Sheli); his granddaughter, Lynn; and his great-granddaughter, Brooklyn. Wilkison was buried with military honors conducted by the American Legion Post #711 of Blue Grass, Iowa.11


1 DNA Kenneth Robert Wilkison Sr – Facts (

2 Marriage of Roister / Wilkison –

3 U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 –

4 The 103rd Infantry Division during World War II | Holocaust Encyclopedia (

5 – Iowa, U.S., World War II Bonus Case Files, 1947-1954

6 Kenneth R Wilkison’s memorial page – Honor Veterans Legacies at VLM (

7 U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 –

8 28 Oct 1946, 6 – The Daily Times at

9 11 May 2008, 88 – Quad-City Times at

10 14 Feb 1988, 80 – Quad-City Times at

11 SGT Kenneth Robert Wilkison Sr. (1923-2010) – Find a Grave Memorial.