Obituary of Dorothy Jean Wilcox
Dorothy (Dottie) Jean Wilcox, 80, of Modesto California, passed away peacefully on April 24, 2019, at Memorial Hospital, Modesto, surrounded by friends and family.
Born June 21, 1938, the only daughter of Edwin and Lula (Behrens) Meyer, and raised by her stepmother Florentine as her mother died in childbirth. Growing up in Leavenworth, Kansas, she was an early fundraiser and a charter member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Leavenworth. She met her husband to be, Phillip Wilcox, while she was living with her brother and his wife in Enid, Oklahoma at Redeemer Lutheran Church, where she was the organist. Phil and Dottie were married seven months later in July 1959, a little more than a month following their engagement. A year and a half later they welcomed their first child Pamela, followed in succession by Kristi, Becky and James.
Dottie worked at Oklahoma State University supporting the family as Phillip completed his degree. Recruited by NASA while he was an Air Force Reservist, the family moved to Mountain View, California in the summer of 1963. The story goes that they met a family moving to the same location while driving west and joined them as members of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Sunnyvale, California. While at St. Mark, Dottie continued as an organist, member of the choir, altar guild and with Phil was active in the building of the “new” sanctuary and with the Walther League (youth group).
Dottie shared the passions of her husband beyond the church, including raising their four children, managing the property where they were living, owning an almond orchard, selling Amway and flying private aircraft. Dottie received her private pilot’s license in 1970. Flying with friends to distant restaurants was a common occurrence in those days.
She loved to sew and made most of her own and her children’s clothing. The girls have fond memories of matching Easter dresses. She also made each of her daughter’s wedding dresses.
After the tragic death of her husband (and many others) in a plane crash in 1973, Dottie eventually returned to the work force as a secretary and administrative assistant. Dottie was lovingly referred to as “Mom” by many of her co-workers, and made lasting relationships that she treasured long after her working days at Triad.
She loved to travel and owned several motor homes over the years. She and her partner Daniel Kellogg were members of several camping groups and spent many weekends, with or without the children, relaxing with friends at campgrounds around California as well as making cross-country trips.
She moved from her home in Sunnyvale after all the children were gone and joined her middle daughter as she moved to the Central Valley. She then returned to the area of her birth when she joined her eldest daughter in Kansas and spent several years in Overland Park and Gardner. The move to Kansas allowed her to be closer to her brother and his family and her longtime friend and sister-in-law Betty. Having slipped on the ice and broken her leg, she said goodbye to the cold winters and returned to California where she lived for the remainder of her days.
She loved being a grandma and a great-grandma and they loved their Grandma Dot Dot. She was an avid reader, QVC shopper and loved to crochet. Most of her descendants have at least one afghan crocheted by Dottie. She was always creative, whether sewing, painting, fabric painting, gardening, scrapbooking or card crafting.
Survivors include her brother Robert and wife Wanda Meyer, sister-in-law Betty Meyer; her children Pamela and husband David Wellons, Kristi and husband David Anthony, Becky Rivera, and James Wilcox and wife Jennifer Rose; her grandchildren Phillip and Victoria, Tria and husband Casey, Marissa, Nicolas and Laura, and Connor and Nathan; her great grandchildren Anna and Teagan; her many nieces and nephews; and her grand pups Daisy Mae, Loki, Ozzie and Ryuu and cats Lily and Sketch.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Marvin and husband Phillip.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 125 E Arques Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 (408-736-6605). Reception immediately following the service at the church. Dottie will join Phil in eternal peace at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California in a private service.