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Daniel Wilcox died at the age of 71 on December 18, 2013 after six years of treatment for lung cancer. Dan was born in Detroit, Michigan and attended Crary Elementary and Cooley High School. He was a three year
Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army, serving at Fort Harrison, Indiana, and the Panama Canal Zone as a Military Policeman. During his Canal Zone assignment he took up his long to be favored sport of sky diving. After his Army discharge, he joined the Livonia Michigan Police Department in 1965 and served for a time as President of the Livonia Police Officers Association, and as President of the Michigan Conference of Police. He was also a founder of the Police Officers Association of Michigan and served on the board of directors as its first Secretary.
Mr. Wilcox left the police department in 1977 and became a FAA certificated Master Parachute Rigger, and then moved to Deland, Florida with a sport parachute manufacturing company. He later became a parachute inspector for Martin Marietta Aerospace at the Kennedy Space Center, working on the large parachutes used to recover the Space Shuttle booster rockets. During that time he also started his own parachute manufacturing company that produced canopies to lower disabled ultra-light aircraft, and designed the parachute recovery system for the first all privately funded rocket ever launched from K.S.C. After the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, Dan returned to DeLand where he opened a popular rental business; Dan Rents Tents. Dan sold that business and retired in 2008. Mr. Wilcox is survived by his sister Jean Ann Valentine of Sebastian, Florida, and seven nieces and nephews. He will be buried as an Army veteran at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. No other funeral or memorial services are planned. No flowers are desired. Tax deductible donations to the Livonia Fallen Hero's Monument at Larry Nehasil Park in Livonia (see NehasilPark.org) will be appreciated. Online condolences may be made at www.allensummerhillfuneralhome.com. Allen-Summerhill DeLand is in charge.
Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home
126 East New York Ave
Deland, FL 32724
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Dec. 22, 2013