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Silas “Zeke” Wike Letellier of Crofton, Md., died Monday Aug. 26, 2019, of cardiac arrest. He was 79.
He was born in Hickory, North Carolina. He grew up in McDowell County and achieved the honor of Eagle Scout. He graduated from North Cove High School in 1957. Prior to enlisting in the United States Army, Zeke attended the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill for two years and played JV Basketball. He completed his Bachelor’s degree during military service via correspondence.
He served in the 5th Special Forces Group, which was responsible for covert intelligence operations in Cambodia as part of Operation GAMMA during the Vietnam War. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 before his retirement.
During his Army intelligence years in Vietnam, Zeke started to perfect his bridge-playing skills. He went on to become a Platinum Life Master player, due to his highly attuned intuition and reasoning skills. Zeke’s passion was duplicate bridge, and he earned over 13,400 master points during his playing career. He worked hard to promote the game and was on the board of directors of the American Contract Bridge League’s Northern Virginia and Baltimore units. As a board member of the Baltimore unit, he served as the Conduct and Ethics Chairperson for many years. New players appreciated his ready help, and he was always available to them for discussions of hands and conventions. He also volunteered and manned the partnership desks at the Hunt Valley and Cambridge regional tournaments. His many partners at Severna Park and other local clubs will miss him dearly.
He was a true Southern gentleman, with a ready smile, twinkle in his eye and sweet disposition, eager to jump to the aid of anyone in need. He was adored by his nieces and nephews who he showered with praise and encouragement and frequent “academic achievement” awards, urging them to follow their dreams. He was born on Flag Day and was a true patriot with a deep love of his country and the armed services that protect it.
He is survived by his nephew William Avera Wynne, III, his wife, Sharon Kennedy Wynne, and their children William and Thomas Wynne, of Clearwater, Fla., and also his nephew David Hunter Wynne and his daughters Alison and Julianne Wynne of Fort Myers, Fla. He was predeceased by his mother Lucille Wike Letellier and her husband Jules Letellier; his beloved sister, Jean Letellier Wynne, and her late husband, William A. Wynne, Jr.
For those wishing to remember Zeke, the family requests that donations be made in Zeke’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project. A service in his memory will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Friends and family may leave remembrances in the Tribute Wall.
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka KS 66675