Norman Wilkins lost his long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away April 26, 2017 at 10:23 p.m., at Little Falls Care Center in Minnesota. In his memory, his eldest daughter Nadia Giordana worked up this Alaskan version of Mary Elizabeth Frye’s Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep:
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I’m in the long Alaskan nights;
‘Tis where my heart and soul delights.
I live in the campfire’s glow;
I am the newly fallen snow.
I soar above with eagle’s flight;
I flicker in the northern lights.
I’m there with every critter’s call;
My favorite season? It’s the fall.
I’m every hunter’s frosty breath,
And every crunchy, leafy step.
I’m in the grunt of caribou,
And in the sweeping mountain view.
Do not worry where I’ll be;
My Maker’s hand will shelter me.
Norman R. Wilkins
Loving husband, father and avid outdoorsman
Norman R. Wilkins, 89, died Wednesday, April 26th at Little Falls Care Center in Little Falls, Minnesota.
Norman was born February 1, 1928, in Marshall County Iowa, to Ivo and Ruby Wilkins.
In 1948, Norman married Ladislava (Sylvia) Kolenc. They lived, farmed and raised a family in central Iowa, then in Motley, Minnesota until 1978 when they moved to Nelchina, Alaska. His friends there often called him Rawhide. In 2005 Norman and Sylvia left Alaska and returned to Minnesota, settling in Little Falls.
Norman is survived by his wife Sylvia, and three daughters, Nadia Giordana (Chuck Kasun), Beverly Volk, and Theresa Austin; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Marion and Jerry.
He was preceded in death by a sister Virginia, a daughter Mildred, his son Paul and granddaughter Anitra Ann.
Per Norman’s request, there will be no formal funeral services. A private graveside memorial for immediate family and close friends will take place at Swan Valley cemetery in Leader, Minnesota at a later date. (Norman was laid to rest on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at Swan Valley cemetery in Motley/Leader, Minnesota.)