Jay E. “Ike” Hankee, age 74, of rural Westby, passed away on February 18th, 2019 at the Gunderson Health System in La Crosse. He was born on May 31, 1944 to Holden and Verna (Dobson) Hankee. During his childhood, Jay acquired the nicknames of “Skip” and “Ike” growing up in the small town of Portland. He graduated from Cashton High School in 1962 and then graduated from UW Platteville in 1971. At Platteville, he met his future wife Karen Nicholson during a snowball fight. Jay and Karen were wed on November 6, 1971. Jay worked for Wilson Meat Company and then retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after 30 years of service. Jay had many hobbies that centered around his love for horses. He enjoyed antiques, anything horse and farm related, attending auctions and collecting and restoring carriages & sleighs. Jay was an advisor for Junior Achievement. He was a member of the Western Saddle Club, Carriage Association of America, Westby Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Coulee Antique Engine Club, and the Hay Tool Collectors Club. Jay spent a lot of time traveling to auctions. He was known for his knowledge of unusual farm antiques and horse drawn vehicles and also for his outrageous sense of humor. He enjoyed riding and driving horses, four wheeling, camping and building scale-model barns.
Jay is survived by his wife Karen; two daughters; Karla J. Hankee and Kristin J. (James) Meier; and two grandsons Jayvid and Kypton Meier. Jay is also survived by his two brothers, Vaughn “Corky” (Carol) Hankee and Thomas (Kathy) Hankee. He is also survived by many other family and friends.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 22ndat 11 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Westby with Pastor Dan Wollman officiating. Family and friends may call from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb 21stat the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua, and again from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Following the service there will be a time of fellowship and a luncheon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Coulee Antique Engine Club, or a charity of donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.thorsonfuneralhome.com.
The Thorson Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Viroqua is proudly serving the family.