Doran Frane Wilkes

February 26, 1929 ~ December 28, 2019 (age 90)


Doran Frane Wilkes, our beloved "Papa", loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, educator, patriot, and friend has joined his loved ones in the great beyond. He passed peacefully on December 28, 2019.

Doran was born February 26, 1929, in Afton, Wyoming to Otto Frane and Jeanne Wollenzien Wilkes. Raised on a sprawling dairy farm in Star Valley, Wyoming during the Great Depression and World War II, he learned the value of hard work and thrift.  He met his future sweetheart, Anna Nola Allred, at Star Valley High School and immediately knew they had something special going.  They married two weeks after graduation on June 10, 1947, in the Idaho Falls Temple.

Following their high school graduation and marriage, the couple moved to Logan, Utah where Doran attended Utah State University.  He received his BS degree and his commission in the United States Air Force on the same day during the Korean War.  After his tour of active duty, most of which was spent at Hill Air Force in Utah, he returned to Utah State where he received his MS degree.  Doran then taught junior high and high school in Ogden, Utah and in Afton, Wyoming. In 1958 he was recruited to teach at Brigham Young University in the College of Engineering where he taught until his retirement in 1994.  While teaching at BYU he earned his PhD in Engineering Education at the University of Missouri. Doran and Nola settled in Orem in 1959. Nola passed away August 22, 2005.

After completing his Air Force active duty Doran spent the next 24 years in the Air Force Reserves serving as an engineering officer.  He retired from the Reserves in 1973 having achieved the rank of Major.  Following his retirement from teaching at BYU after 36 years, Doran served for 13 years in the Mt. Timpanogos temple until his health required him to give up that enjoyable work.

Two years after Nola's passing, Doran met and married Elaine Hirsche, who had also been recently widowed.  She has been an angel and a blessing in his life. She truly made him happy and has provided excellent care and comfort during their time together. Doran was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and a love for the gospel.  All his life he was dedicated to serving his fellowmen.  He filled numerous callings in the church including Elders Quorum President, Bishopric Counselor, High Councilman, and Bishop of the Orem 44th Ward. He also served for many years at the Provo Utah Missionary Training Center, including three years as a branch president

Doran is survived by his wife Elaine, Orem, Utah, five sons and their wives: Koray (Christy) Wichita, Kansas; Kevan (Donna) Gardena, Calif.; Kellen (Annette) Ada, Michigan; Kody (Chimane) Kent, Washington; and Karlin (Carolyn) Lindon, Utah, 17 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his 3 brothers and their wives: Glenn(Dawn), Blair(Rose) and Dan (Marie), his sister-in-law Verla Wilkes and brother-in-law Derell Allred. He also has five stepchildren: Heather, Lon, Darren (Becki), Ryan and Michelle Hirsche. All of us miss our Papa very, very much but look forward to an eventual happy reunion. Doran was preceded in death by his wife Nola, his parents, two brothers, Charles and John Wilkes, and a sister Jeanne Wilkes.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 4th at the Sunset Heights Stake Center, 1260 South 400 West, Orem.  Viewings will be held on Friday, January 3rd from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, and at the Church from 9:30 to 10:30, prior to the services.  Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the many people at Covington Senior Living who kindly assisted Doran during his last few months.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

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Recording of Service


Evening Viewing
January 3, 2020

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sundberg - Olpin Mortuary, South State Street, Orem
495 South State Street
Orem, UT 84058

Daytime Viewing
January 4, 2020

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
LDS Chapel 1260 South 400 West
1260 South 400 West
Orem, UT 84058

Funeral Service
January 4, 2020

11:00 AM
LDS Chapel 1260 South 400 West
1260 South 400 West
Orem, UT 84058

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