Charles Bennett Wilcox

April 25, 1909-May 6, 2001

SALEM — Charles Bennett Wilcox, 92, of Hermiston died Sunday May 6, at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem where he had resided for two months. He had lived in Medford for two years at the Farmington Square-Special Care Center.

The funeral service for Mr. Wilcox was held Friday, May 11, at the Burns Mortuary in Hermiston, followed by a graveside service in the Hermiston Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mr. Wilcox was a descendant of William C. and Jane C. (Nelson) McGee, who were early Oakland, Ore., pioneers that came West on the Oregon Trail in 1864 and settled in Douglas County.

He was born April 25, 1909, at the McGee homestead house, on the McGee-Wilcox farm, near Oakland, Ore., a son of Robert Bennett and Ethel F. (Eskelson) Wilcox. The family lived in Oakland, Klamath Falls and in the Heppner area. He graduated from Lexington High School in 1927.

On Oct. 12, 1929, he married Tressie Vensus Allstott in Ione. He began work as a fire lookout for the Forest Service on Tamarack Mountain, with a lookout tower that was a 95-foot tall pine tree. During those early Great Depression years he attended Oregon State, where he studied forestry, and then attended O.I.T. in Portland, where he studied radio.

Mr. Wilcox and his family moved to Hermiston in 1935, spending the winter months working for L.A. Moore Furniture Store and the summer months working for the Umatilla Forest Service. After a few years, he began working year round for L.A. Moore’s business.

On April 4, 1951, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wilcox had a grand opening of the first Wilcox Home Appliance Store, located at 254 Hermiston Avenue in Hermiston. Later they added furniture to the business. They later sold the Wilcox Appliance and Furniture Store to Mr. Wilcox’s brother, Lester Wilcox.

Mr. Wilcox enjoyed and loved hunting, fishing, traveling and gardening. In his retirement years, he made many foot stools and other useful hand-crafted items that he gave to all his friends and family.

Mr. Wilcox is survived by a son and his wife, James Otis and Glenda Wilcox of Hermiston; daughter and her husband, Patricia and Marvin Kennedy of Medford; a daughter-in-law, Gloria Wilcox of Prineville; two brothers, Claude Wilcox of Gresham and Glen Wilcox of Portland; one sister, Dorris Graves of Heppner; eight grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Wilcox was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Tressie Wilcox, who died in July 1998; a son, Robert Wilcox; brother, Lester Wilcox; and sister, Eva Brosten.

Funeral arrangements were made by Burns Mortuary of Hermiston.

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