Obituary of Joseph Walter Schilken
Joseph was born in Pittsburg, PA on January 29, 1925, to Walter and Florence Schilken. He was the oldest child, he had three sisters Mary Lou Sirrine (Schilken), Johanna Nugent (Schilken) and Kathleen Schilken who died in infancy. He attended Catholic school through the 8th grade and then public high school. At age 17, in 1942, he graduated early from high school and his parents gave permission for him to join the Navy. He was discharged in 1946. While in the Navy he served as a radio operator on a torpedo plane operating in the Pacific off the aircraft carrier Essex.
After leaving the Navy he returned to Pittsburgh and enrolled in college at Duquesne University; he graduated in 1952 with a BA in Business Administration. He left Pittsburgh and worked for the Remmington Rand Corporation. He then was hired at the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company and worked there for many years. In 1975 he opened his own business in Hurst Texas. He retired in 1985.
He married Margaret (Minor) in 1953. They had two sons Karl and Keith. Margaret was a widow and had two daughters Peggy and Judy. During their marriage they lived in Irving TX, Kansas City KS, then in Euless TX. Margaret died in 1982 of cancer. He married Betty (Green) in 1984—she died in 2001 of cancer. He then married Barbara (White)—she died of cancer in 2019. He cared for all three during their illnesses.
He was instrumental in the foundation of the TK Thomas Bruner Ranch in Sunset Texas, a home for special needs adults. The ranch is home to approximately 30 special needs adults, men and women. In his last years he lived at Bethesda Gardens Assisted living in Fort Worth. In August 2023 he contracted Covid 19 for a second time. After hospitalization he went to rehab and then to a private nursing facility and was placed in hospice. He died peacefully on November 25, 2023. He was a faithful Catholic and a member of St. Bartholomew Parish. He was for several years a fixture at the Saturday evening Mass where he was assisted by family friend Esther Paulson. He is survived by his sons Karl and Keith, daughters Peggy and Judy, and sister Johanna, as well as Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Karl Schilken, on Monday, December 4 at 11:00 am at St. Bartholomew. Following the Mass there will be a private luncheon for family and visiting priests.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Vincent de Paul, St. Bartholomew Chapter 3601 Altamesa Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76133.