Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arnold 'Arnie' J. Wilkens, 76

| February 7, 2024 1:00 AM

Arnold “Arnie” J. Wilkens, 76, of Athol, Idaho, passed away peacefully Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, surrounded by family.

Born in Hoboken, N.J., on June 22, 1947, to the late Arnold "Bud" Wilkens and the late Helen (Amweg) Wilkens, Arnie was raised in Ridgefield, N.J., and graduated from Monmouth University in 1970. He moved to Hayden Lake, Idaho, in 1983. Arnie had a successful career in sales and started by opening his own tool shop, Northwest Hardware and Supply, and ended his career with Lifeform Chairs, retiring in 2020. 

He was an avid horseman and loved the outdoors including fishing, hunting, and skiing.  Arnie was a former captain of the Kootenai County Sherriff’s Posse, a member of the volunteer Search and Rescue team and the current vice president of the Panhandle Back Country Horsemen. He loved to ride and camp alongside the Gentlemen on Horseback. 

Arnie was preceded in death by his sister, Carol Pollio, in 2023 and good friend Bill Paradee in 2010. 

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 53 years; two children, AJ Wilkens and his wife, Christina; Lindsey Rice and her husband, Karl; five grandchildren, Kaden Rice, Mackenzie Rice, Cormac Wilkens, Schafer Wilkens and Finn Wilkens; his twin brother, Kenneth Wilkens, and his wife, Cindy; sister-in-law, Nancy Nathanson and her husband, Tom; brothers-in-law, James Moretti and his wife, Sue, and Carl Moretti and his wife, Judy; and numerous nieces and nephews around the country. His smile will be missed by many but his memory will live on in all of us. 

Arnie’s Life Celebration will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds — Building 2. Please join us for refreshments as we share memories. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Arnie’s memory to: Panhandle Back Country Horsemen (PO Box 1903 Hayden, ID 83835,, St. Jude’s ( or Disabled American Veterans ( 

Please visit Arnie’s memorial and sign his online guestbook at