Donald R. Wick
June 3, 1934 – January 9, 2020
Don (Jake) Wick was born on June 3rd, 1934, in Liberal, Kansas. His parents, Charles and Sarah, were sharecroppers. Jake rode a horse to school, which was a literal 1-room schoolhouse. When he was 9, his father died and his mother moved the family to Rosemead, CA. They lived with his older sister and her young family. It was the middle of World War II so his mom got a job in a factory and Jake delivered newspapers on his bike everyday before school.
As soon as he could, Jake enlisted in the Air Force. Though the Korean War was now going on, he was sent to a base in England, where he served 4 years. Back home, Jake enrolled at Pasadena City College, then moved onto Cal State L.A. thanks to the GI Bill. He left school to enter the police academy and soon after was an officer with the San Gabriel Police Dept. He began moonlighting with his fellow officer, Fred Dennis, and soon had a small fence business going. Around this time he met Helen Tapley and they were soon married, and moved into their new home in El Monte. 4 kids later, Jake decided to give the fence business all of his working energy.
After moving to San Gabriel and getting their kids through school, Jake and Helen decided to relocate to Newport Beach, where they both enjoyed summers as kids themselves. Jake retired in 1996 and played some golf, bought a little boat, and enjoyed daily walks around Balboa Island. In 2005, Helen lost her years-long fight with cancer. Jake and Helen's family has continued to grow. Debbie (John), Dawna (Carl), and Dyana (Robert), along with Scott (Carmen) have blessed them with 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, with 1 in the oven.
In 2009, Jake married his Mark Keppel H.S. classmate, Virginia Jones. Together, they've traveled to Washington, D.C., visited friends back in Dallas, seen the Grand Canyon, and been active in alumni gatherings. Virginia's large and loving family added even more events to Jake's calendar, and he was happier for them.
Jake passed on Thursday, January 9th, 2020, at home surrounded by Virginia and his four children. We gather here today to celebrate and remember the great life he led and the amazing example he set for his family.
- Funeral Service Monday, January 20, 2020
Donald R. Wick
January 20, 2020
Although I did not know your father, I’m sure he was a wonderful dad. Greg and I extend our deepest condolences to you, Robert, your children, and all of your family. Keeping you in our prayers.
Andriana and Greg Freeman
January 18, 2020
When I was a kid in high school, Mr. Wick was the best example of a great father and a great husband which was something I didn’t have and I’ll always be grateful because he definitely was an amazing role model. I spent a lot of time at the Wick’s and participated in many fun events with the family. Jake, Helen, Debbie, Dawna, Scott, Dyana, Peaches and Tasha were my 2nd family.
There was a lot of love in the Wick household and I always wanted to spend the night there because Dyana and I got to have many great teenage adventures. I know Mr. Wick would always be waiting for us when we came home after a night out, and while we didn’t have a curfew, we almost never came home after midnight, but the one time we did it was already morning and there was Mr. Wick in the kitchen reading the newspaper having his coffee. We were so afraid of getting in trouble but when we walked in the front door, you could see a sigh of relief on his face and then he said something like, “good morning girls, I bet you’re tired” and in we went to go to sleep and never got in trouble or even a scolding. I always thought Mr. Wick was the best dad.
I was sad when I heard about Mr. Wick’s passing but also happy to have remembered all the great times I got to spend with the Wick’s. May your great memories of Jake give you comfort and know that he is at peace. Hugs to you Virginia, Debbie, Dawna, Scott and Dyana and the rest of the clan who have grown into an amazing and beautiful family, so many to name and some I’ve not met, you are blessed to have a new angel in heaven to watch over you.
January 16, 2020
The last time I visited Jake was on
December 21, 2019. I knew he was sick, so I took over some meatball soup. I visited briefly with him, his grandson, Brian and his fiancé . Jake fell asleep before I left, but I took over a gospel tract on Heaven to share with him to read. His dear wife, Virginia, said she gave it to Jake to read and that he did read it. Jake is the last of the Wicks in his immediate family to pass away. He always welcomed us into his home any time. I will miss him.
January 15, 2020
Jake (Don) was a neighbor and friend of mine for 24 years. I don't know how many miles he walked on Balboa Island but it had to be in the thousands. I recall seeing him around Christmas walking with the assistance of a walker. He had lost a lot of weight and was moving at a slow pace but the important thing is he was still walking although I could tell it was a challenge for him. He never gave up! Jake was a good man and I will miss him dearly.