Rest in peace, Deacon Christopher Wickern of Warsaw, Cole Camp


Deacon Christopher M. Wickern, 66, who assisted the pastor of St. Ann Parish in Warsaw and the Mission of Ss. Peter and Paul in Cole Camp, died on Sunday, Nov. 21, at his home.

A Rosary for the repose of his soul will be prayed on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Cole Camp.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Nov. 29, at 11 a.m. at St. Ann Church in Warsaw, with Father Benjamin Nwosu presiding.

Burial with military honors will be in Union-Williams Cemetery, Cole Camp.

Deacon Wickern served the Jefferson City diocese as a permanent deacon since 2016.

He was born on March 15, 1955, in Atchison, Kansas, a son of Donald J. and Permelia S. (McNeish) Wickern.

He grew up in Topeka, Kansas, and when he was a freshman in high school, moved to Lakeview Heights near Lincoln, Mo. He graduated from Cole Camp High School in 1973. While in high school, he cut wood and worked turkeys for local farmers. After graduation, he served his country honorably in the United States Army where he started land surveying.

On April 5, 1974, at Mt. Hulda Lutheran Church near Cole Camp, he was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Patsy Smith. Together they traveled three continents and seven states while raising their three children, Eric, Elizabeth and Kyle.

After his discharge from the U.S. Army, he became a professional land surveyor in Missouri and Arizona.

He enjoyed being involved with the surveying community and was a member and past president of the Missouri Society of Professional Land Surveyors (MSPLS).

He published several articles on surveying and riparian rights and also won numerous surveying awards.

After five years of diaconate formation, he was ordained as a deacon  in 2016 and assigned to what is now known as St. Vincent de Paul Parish of Pettis County.

In 2019, he was reassigned to St. Ann Parish in Warsaw and the Mission of Ss. Peter and Paul in Cole Camp.

Deacon Wickern loved people, whether it be family, friends or strangers and he loved sharing his faith with everyone.

Christmas was his favorite time of year and he loved everything about it.

Since 2010, he and his wife volunteered throughout the community of Sedalia at Christmastime as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

He is survived by his wife, Patsy; a daughter, Elizabeth (Randy) Ackerman of Richmond; two sons, Eric (Jolon) Wickern of Jefferson City; and Kyle (Jillian) Wickern of Branson; a sister, Catherine Wickern of Kansas City; a brother, Patrick Wickern of Springfield; 10 grandchildren: Jordan, Heather, Kayla, Kristin, Duncan, Megan, Autumn, Dexter, TJ, and Willow; and three great-grandchildren: Akyra, Henry, and Mavis.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, John Wickern.