Edward G. Wickes Jr. died peacefully at home in Walnut Creek, CA, on September 27, 2012, at the age of 89.|
Ed was born on April 1, 1923, in Buffalo, NY, to Marie Haungs and Edward G. Wickes Sr. He moved as a young boy with his family to San Bernardino, CA, and attended San Bernardino Junior College before transferring to UC Berkeley in 1941 where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
At Cal he met Mary J. Ward of Berkeley, who was a Gamma Phi, and they married in December 1942 shortly after his induction into the U.S. Army. He served in WW II with the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron in Europe as a C-47 pilot and his missions included dropping paratroopers in the Market Garden and Varsity (Rhine) operations.
Ed graduated from UC Berkeley after the war and rejoined the U.S. Air Force. During his career, Ed was a B-47 pilot stationed at several bases including SAC Headquarters in Omaha, NE. He also received an MS at Purdue and worked on the Minuteman missile program at Vandenberg AFB. He retired in 1964 as a Lt. Colonel, settling in La Jolla, and spent several years in the aerospace industry.
A trip to upstate NY to his family's roots ignited a passion for genealogy that became his avocation for the rest of his life. Ed and Mary moved to Saunderstown, RI, for the next decade, devoting much time to tracing their family lines in New England and Europe. Ed was an active member of the Mayflower Society, SAR, Society of the Cincinnati and Founders and Patriots.
Returning to California, they divided their time between Rossmoor and La Jolla, where Mary died in 2001. Ed met Nancy Himmelright Hoyt of Berkeley in the genealogy library in Salt Lake City in 2003 and they were married in 2004.
Ed is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Kathleen Ann Wickes of Gaithersburg, MD, and son-in-law, John Hallgren, and Mary Ann Wickes of Walnut Creek, CA, and son-in-law, Dean Harper; son, James Wickes of Anchorage, AK, and daughter-in-law, Bonnie Raber Wickes; seven grandchildren, Kirsten, Shelley and Gregory Harper of Walnut Creek, Wendy Bounds of Lusby, MD, Jessica Dry of Ijamsville, MD, Bronwyn Wojcik of Seattle, WA, and Randy Ortlieb of Escondido, CA; and ten great-grandchildren.
Our deepest gratitude goes to Deborah McElwain with LivHome for her kindness and loving care for our dad these last months.
A private burial service will take place in Auburn, NY.
Published in La Jolla Light on Oct. 11, 2012