James H. "Jim" Wilcox was born on July 28, 1921. The fourth and youngest son of Charles and Velma Wilcox, Jim was raised on a 143-acre dairy farm. He often shared with friends and family that the day he left home was the day that his dad “finally broke down and bought a milking machine!” He attended Little Valley High School in Little Valley, New York, where he met Leora Van Tassel who became his wife of 74 years. She has predeceased him.
After High School, Jim enlisted in the US Army and saw combat duty, as a tank commander and platoon sergeant, in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He described war as "hell" and, because of the carnage that he witnessed, felt led to assist those who had lost a loved one. So, he spent 52 years as a perpetual care cemetery manager. In 1959, he became the manager of Irving's Oak Grove Memorial Gardens, where he will be buried. He also served a term on Irving's City Council.
Mr. Wilcox was an active and award-winning member of the Rotary Club. Because of his outstanding work on behalf of the club's Paul Harris Foundation, he received one of only 25 International Distinguished Service Awards at the international convention in Rio de Janiero.
Jim and Leora were avid volunteers. For a number of years, they rocked babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital in Oak Cliff and even managed that hospital's gift shop. He was truly a man of great generosity and service, to his family and the community.
He is survived by Jack and Suzi Wilcox, Clarke and Linda Wilcox. His 5 grandchildren, Jennifer Knott, Lindsay Howard, Julie Hickman, Chuck Wilcox and Montana Wilcox (who dubbed him "Poppy," a nickname he proudly wore), 15 great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm, Sunday, September 29, 2019 at Brown’s Memorial Funeral Home, 707 North MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75061. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm, Monday, September 30, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 211 W. Third Street, Irving, TX 75061. A committal with full Military Honors will be held immediately following at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens, 1413 E. Irving Blvd., Irving, TX 75060. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Click HERE to donate