William "Bill" R. Wilcox, 87, of Mount Vernon, passed away on June 12, 2013, at his home with his loving wife Jean at his side.
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Bill was born August 14, 1925, in Mount Vernon to Paul and Marie Wilcox.
Bill spent his childhood exploring the Nookachamps watershed with his two older brothers and helping his parents farm their acreage. He graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1943. He wanted to immediately enlist in the US Navy but both his brothers were serving so he waited until 1945. he served in the Navy in the Asiatic-Pacific area and returned to Mount Vernon in 1947.
He married Jean Edwards, on February 12, 1949. They raised four children; the family has cherished memories of camping, hiking, water skiing, boating and exploring the Northwest.
Bill worked as a laborer for over 30 years and worked on many projects in this area.
Bill loved the outdoors and spent time hiking and backpacking throughout the Cascade Mountains. He fished on Ross Lake, backpacked to Stehekin, and helped build and maintain trails with the Pacific Northwest Trails Association. He and Jean introduced many of their friends and family to the wonders of Cascade Pass. Following their retirement they traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting most of our national parks and meeting up often with dear friends Bev and David of Boise, Idaho to explore the outdoors. He stayed in amazing shape all his life and always preferred to walk.
His family is sure he would have wanted it known that in 1945 he had the honor of dancing with Doris Day at the Hollywood Canteen. A signed photo of her was one of his cherished possessions.
Bill was a proud blood donor and earned the 18 gallon pin! He was a member of The VFW, The American Legion, The Moose Lodge, PNTA and Sedro-Woolley Alumni Association.
His family remembers him as a true gentleman and a loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle. If you needed something, Bill was right there for you. His sense of humor stayed with him all his life and he loved to make you laugh with an unexpected joke. His sparkly eyes and mischievous smile will be missed by all who knew him.
Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean; his daughters, Kathy (Jerry) Hahn and Barbara Knowlton; his son, Dave; grandchildren, Amy (Andy) Wilcox, Summer (Carly) Hahn, Cascade Hahn, Jess Knowlton, Nathan Wilcox; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Bill is also survived by sister-in-law, Joanne (Gary) Hackley; brothers-in-law, Dick (Sharon) Edwards and John (Carol) Lefebre; and sister-in-law, Patty Wilcox; dear friends, David and Bev Young; and his biggest fan, Molly, his yellow Lab.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Bob and Paul; and his son, Jim.
Bill and Joan met at the Moose Lodge in 1947 and that is where the final goodbye will be. There will be a celebration of life for Bill at the Moose Lodge in Mount Vernon Saturday, June 29, from 2-5.
The family wishes a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Hospice of the Northwest loving care of Bill, with a special thanks to Nurse Ann Kuntz.
Memorials in honor of Bill may be sent to Hospice of the Northwest, The Friendship House or
Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on June 18, 2013