Carl Eugene Wilen Jr., of Charleston, Ill., summer resident of Newcastle, passed away Sept. 11 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Carl was born June 2, 1933 in Grand Rapids, Mich. to the late Marie (Pitulski) Wilen and Carl E. Wilen Sr. Carl grew up in Cicero, Ill. attending Morton High School and Morton Junior College. At this young age he was proficient in baseball and ice hockey and had developed his artistic skills dramatically. He continued his education at the University of Illinois (Champaign) where he received a Master of Fine Arts and was drafted into the military serving as an illustrator.
Carl taught drawing in the School of Architecture as a graduate student at U of I then took a teaching position at Clark College (now Clark University) in Atlanta, Ga. At this time he participated in the Civil Rights Movement by marching with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery and attending the March on Washington. Soon after, he took a job at Eastern Illinois University in the Art Department where he worked for 29 years, teaching, drawing and painting.
Carl continued to produce his unique art in his own studio his entire life resulting in the remaining large collection. Often after teaching he would spend long hours into the night working in his studio. Throughout his life he had countless shows of his work in Illinois and the Midwest. His work is currently handled by ZIA Gallery in Winnetka, Ill. and has been exhibited at the Union League of Chicago; 62nd Chicago and Vicinity Exhibition; The Art Institute of Chicago; Mid-American Exhibition, Kansas City; Ball State Drawing and Small Sculpture Exhibition; the Tarble Arts Center; and many others.
Carl is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacquelin (Luce) Wilen; son, Paul G. (Belerie) Wilen of Houston, Tex.; daughter, Winifred M. (Marc) Hutchcraft of Lanexa, Kan.; grandsons, Nathan S. Hutchcraft of Lawrence, Kan., Cameron C. Wilen, Malik I. Singleton, Isaak A. Wilen, and Mason D. Wilen, all of Houston, Tex.; and granddaughters, Mara N. Hutchcraft of Charleston, Ill., and Jordan E. Hutchcraft of Lawrence, Kan.
Carl’s life celebration will be held at Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, Ill., Sat., Sept. 15 with a 10 a.m. visitation followed by an 11:30 a.m. memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice and left at the visitation/service or mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.