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Elisabeth Jane Wilcox

1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Elisabeth Jane Wilcox Obituary
Sunrise March 5, 1930. Sunset March 23, 2016

Elisabeth Wilcox, 86, passed away peacefully on the morning of March 23rd with family by her side after a courageous battle with cancer. Born Elisabeth Pullion in New Brighton, Pennsylvania to James Pullion and Margaret Morrison Pullion. Her father was a first generation Italian-American and she was always proud of her Italian heritage, which blended well with her mother's Irish roots. Growing up in New Brighton as one of six children she was surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins and she loved the strong family values. When she was 20 she met her future husband Don Wilcox, from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, while enjoying an evening of bowling with friends. They were married in 1951 and spent their first 10 years in Pennsylvania and welcomed three children during that time. They moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1961 where they welcomed a fourth child to complete their family. Since that time they have remained in Tempe and are active parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

After raising her children Elisabeth returned back for continued education and received an associate degree. She went on to pursue a career in taxes where she highly excelled in her knowledge of tax codes and regulations and enjoyed a rewarding 20 years at the Internal Revenue Service as a tax specialist. In keeping with her community-oriented nature, she was proud of the good work done on many evenings and weekends alongside other volunteers to provide free tax preparations for the elderly and less fortunate through the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Elisabeth also enjoyed teaching tax law at various locations, one of her favorites was Williams Air Force Base.

Giving time to help others was a constant element in her life, even during her retirement years, as she served up until recently on the Board of Directors for Recovery Innovations working in the behavioral health community to create opportunities and environments that empower people to recover. Mental health issues and support was a platform that Elisabeth championed as an advocate based on special needs within her own family and the kindness, compassion and caregiving she demonstrated daily will be a loving part of her legacy.

With Elisabeth's passing on March 23rd it comes as no surprise to those who know her that she passed during Holy Week. Elisabeth was very religious and she found much comfort and joy in her devotion to the Catholic Church. She was a faithful and active member of her rosary group, the Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary, the Sodality and she also served as Regent for Catholic Daughters of the Americas for Local Court Padre Kino #1932. Throughout the years she had a constant presence at the church to organize and to participate in fundraising efforts, social events and religious programs. Elisabeth especially enjoyed attending mass on Tuesday mornings which was then followed by a weekly gathering of her friends at Denny's for coffee, where she often chuckled that the waitress knew exactly what they would order. She embraced those mornings with great love for her friends and the celebration of prayer, laughter and life together.

To know Elisabeth was to also know the joy she found in baseball. She would look forward to watching the Arizona Diamondbacks throughout the season, keeping up on the players' stats by reading the box scores in the newspaper. On occasion she had the opportunity to go to a game and cheer for her team while sporting a Diamondbacks' t-shirt. She had a love for animals and she and Don enjoyed giving a loving home to two rescue puppies that were part of the family for 15 years along with a handful of stray cats that she looked forward to feeding every morning.

Elisabeth was a special woman who was strong through her faith, loving to her family and blessed to have many friends. She carried herself with grace and elegance and had a strong, vibrant spirit and always gave a smile and a compliment and put forth a positive outlook. She put her family first each day and she provided constant guidance, nurturing and unconditional love and took much care to create a beautiful, loving home. As Elisabeth passes to eternal life her family has comfort in knowing she is with God and he has provided her with a beautiful and peaceful resting place. Elisabeth was predeceased by son Michael Wilcox (Tempe), April 3, 1990. She is survived by her husband of 64 years Don Wilcox, son Mark Wilcox (Hillsboro, OR), and daughters Debra Wilcox (Tempe) and Maria Wilcox (Forest Hills, New York). Visitation will be Wednesday, March 30 from 1-4pm, including the Rosary at 3pm, at Resthaven Park, 4310 East Southern Avenue in Phoenix. Mass will be the following day, Thursday, March 31, at 11am at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2121 South Rural Road in Tempe. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Arizona Humane Society: www.azhumane.org
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 29, 2016
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