Wilbur Wilcox Obituary

Wilbur F. Wilcox
Rev. Dr. Wilbur F. Wilcox
Wilbur F. Wilcox

April 3, 1921 - February 29, 2004
Born in Marshalltown, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Wilbur F. Wilcox, 82, died on Sunday, February 29, 2004 at home in Des Moines. Visitation will be 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at Dunn's Funeral Home in Des Moines. Memorial services (no viewing) will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 4, 2004 at First United Methodist Church in Des Moines. Burial will be 3 p.m. Thursday at the Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown.

Wilbur was born on April 3, 1921 and was raised on a farm just outside Marshalltown, Iowa. He was the son of Francis E. Wilcox, Sr. and Alice A. Havens Wilcox. He was a graduate of Marshalltown High School in 1938, Cornell College in 1942 and Union Theological Seminary of New York in 1946.

On August 27, 1944 Wilbur was united in marriage to Betty Jo Sheeley of Marshalltown. Five sons were born to this union and in 1964 a foster son was added, rounding the family number to eight. Wilbur was ordained an Elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1946 and served his Lord with vigor and joy for 43 years in the churches of Harcourt, Montour, Maquoketa, Des Moines, Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids (as District Superintendent) and Iowa City. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cornell College and received the Iowa Annual Conference's Higher Education Award.

Wilbur loved to preach and teach. He loved young people and taught many of them to love the church, justice and the great game of cribbage. He enjoyed working a good vegetable garden. He had an avid appreciation for music and loved to sing and play the harmonica. Making a home in the Sherman Hills neighborhood was one of the great joys of his retirement. Together with his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Wilbur was blessed with the gift of kindness and hospitality that touched the heart of his family and friends in all the places they called home.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Irvin Conn; and sister-in-law, Roberta P. Wilcox.

Wilbur is survived by his wife, Betty Jo of Des Moines; sons, Mark (Cheryl) Wilcox of Palatine, IL, David (Victoria) Wilcox of Houston, TX, Joel (Catherine) Wilcox of Iowa City, Paul (Gayle) Wilcox of Charles City, Daniel Wilcox of Iowa City and Bruce Greene (Nancy) of Randall, IA; 18 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters, Shirley A. Conn of Grinnell, and Roberta Knudson (Kenneth) of Marshalltown; and brother, Francis E. Wilcox, Jr. (Kathy) of Marshalltown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund of Des Moines or The Heifer Project International.

Arrangements by Dunn's Funeral Home.




Memorial Service
First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Thursday, March 4, 2004
11:00 AM
Riverside Cemetery
611 North Center St.
Marshalltown, IA US 50158
Thursday, March 4, 2004
3:00 PM


First United Methodist Church
1001 Pleasant
Des Moines, IA 50309