Clifford Lavar Wilcox, age 93, passed away peacefully on December 15, 2018 at the Brookdale Assisted Living Center. He is again reunited with mom, where they can walk together hand in hand, through eternity.
Clifford was born April 15, 1925 at home, in Archer, Idaho. He was the fifth of seven children of David Oswell Wilcox, Jr. and Nessie Gilbert. He was strong because of the tough circumstances that he endured, and overcame. His mother, Nessie, died when he was two years old, after giving birth to twins. His father was left with seven children, the oldest 14, and twin boys who were 12 days old. It was the middle of the depression, and money was tight. It was here, where dad learned that strong family support can get you through difficult times.
He married his childhood sweetheart, June Branson, on December 5, 1945, in the Idaho Falls temple - the first day it was open for sealing. They enjoyed almost 73 years together, only separated by two years of military service.
Clifford served two tours of duty in the military, both in the army. He was able to use the GI bill to further his education. His first tour took him to Japan to help reconstruct damage after World War II. He once said, “We had just finished World War II, the war to end all wars, and would be safe in enlisting.” Little did he know, that he would serve in the Korean Conflict. When he left for Korea, his first son, Jonathan David, was three weeks old; he would not see him again until Jon was 14 months. Korea was a place where dad endured some of his toughest days, yet grew and matured the most.
Clifford graduated from Madison High School in 1943, right in the middle of WWII. He graduated from Utah State in 1951 with a degree in Agriculture. After returning from his second tour in Korea, dad enrolled in graduate school at the University of Minnesota. He graduated with a Master of Science Degree in 1957 and his PH.D in Dairy Science in 1959.
Dr. Clifford Wilcox worked for the U of M and took the job of superintendent of the Agricultural Experimental Station in 1965. He held this position for the next 25 years until he retired in the fall of 1990.
Clifford had many church callings, including bishop of his St. Paul ward. He and June served a mission in the Hawaiian temple at Laie where they served as ordinance workers and coordinated the baptismal program. They developed many great relationships and gained a love for the Polynesian people with whom they worked. They were able to bring their children to The Islands to celebrate during this time. After returning from their mission, they traveled extensively, including trips to Europe, Egypt, Fiji, China and Israel. After moving to St. George, he was called to be a sealer in the temple, and he had the privilege of sealing the marriage of some of his grandchildren as husband and wife for eternity. Papa loved gardening, serving others through the Care and Share program, and loved to spend time with his 28 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren, and usually indulged them with treats .
Clifford is survived by his children Jon and Sue Wilcox of Faribault, MN, Jeff and Kaatje Wilcox of St. George, UT, Ann Marie and Paul Forsey of Peoria, AZ, Jay and Kim Wilcox of Anchorage, AK, and Gene and Shelley Wilcox of Tremonton, UT and many grand children and great grand children. He was preceded in death by six brothers and a sister, Amy Beth (infant daughter), and his loving wife, June Branson Wilcox.
The family would like to express sincere thanks to the staff at Brookdale, and to the hospice nurses at CNS for their kind and compassionate care over the past few months.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 22, 2018 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 1222 E. Brigham Road in St. George, Utah. The funeral will start at 11 am, with a viewing prior from 9:30-10:45 am. Interment will be held at Tonaquint Cemetery immediately following the service.