Arthur Wikle, Jr Obituary

Arthur Milton Wikle, Jr
Arthur Milton Wikle, Jr

November 7, 1938 - June 6, 2020
Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Resided in Wasilla, Alaska


Arthur Milton Wikle, Jr., born November 7, 1938 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Art was 81 when he passed away at home in Wasilla, Alaska on June 6, 2020. Family was by his side.

Early on, Arthur was known throughout the motorcycle community as one of the better motocross riders on the dirt track. He has trophies and pictures displayed through Sturgis, Spearfish and Sioux Falls. When motorcycles weren’t fast enough, Art fearlessly leapt into his real passion of aviation. He sold his motorcycle and bought his first Cub for $350.00. Art then became an aerial livestock and pheasant feeder, aerial hunter, spray pilot, and a flight instructor. Arthur was seriously talented with any aircraft he flew. He attained his CFI, CFII and MEI early on in the 1960s then passed his ATP written at the age of 68 years of age.

In the late 1950’s, he and his dad went north to Alaska. Later, Art and his best friend took off on another jaunt to Alaska. That sealed the deal and he moved his family to Alaska in 1986. In Alaska, Art soon became a legendary bush pilot and a highly regarded bush flight instructor. One of Art’s more famous sayings was, “I’m a little unorthodox as an instructor here in Alaska, but after I’m done with them - they’ll stay alive out there.” Art was known for maneuvering through sticky situations with grace and ease, defying gravity, and living his best life, hard and rugged but always loving the Alaskan way. Art instilled in his family and friends the importance of following your dreams. He never met a stranger and folks loved him dearly. He adored his family and was always ready to go on an adventure. Art achieved over 30 years working on the North Slope, his welding expertise was unsurpassed. He has artwork in Valdez, Alaska that can be seen by pedestrians. The school of Halibut inlays on Main Street and in the sidewalks around town are examples of this talent. He believed he could live forever through the structures he helped create throughout Alaska.

Arthur is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Margaret Wikle, Sr., and his sister Leora Williams. Arthur is survived by his wife, Bonny Wikle; his children Lori Wikle, Artic Wikle, Emily Wikle, and Michelle Hedrick; grandchildren Kytten Goering, Rebecca Kilway, Jarrid Routt, Shawby Routt and Bryant Wikle, Braedon Wikle, Josh Linde, Marissa Giancoli and Christopher Fortman, James Fortman, Robert Cafourek and Brittany Cafourek; great grandchildren, Jaxx Arthur Routt and Cora Giancoli; and his brother Leon Wikle of Rapid City, South Dakota.

Art is an organ donor and able to donate tissue; we are thrilled that he will still be among us. His wishes include being cremated and his ashes spread over his favorite places. We will be honoring Art with a Celebration Fly-in at Tazlina “Z14” Airstrip (local information can be found on, key words; Smokey Lake) at Art and Bonny’s home. Date of the event will be announced soon and posted. All are welcome to attend.

God is in his heart and he put up a good fight not wanting to leave his beautiful Alaska.

We are certain that he is flying north with God’s hands guiding him.

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