Harold Dewain Wilcox

Dec. 25, 1911-April 27, 2001

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Harold Dewain Wilcox, 89, of Hermiston died April 27, at the Jonathan Wainwright Veterans Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash.

Harold was born on Dec. 25, 1911, in Logan, Utah, to Samuel Dewain and Caroline Hansen Wilcox. His early years were spent in Bannock, Idaho, because of his mother’s health concerns, they eventually settled in Hood River. His mother eventually died when Harold was 13 years old.

He then remained on the family farm to help his father until he finished the eighth grade. World War II was underway, so he enlisted on March 19, 1941, in the Army Air Corps and was an airplane mechanic. He served stateside until May 8, 1946. He re-enlisted into the Air Force on July 29, 1950, and stayed with the Air Force until May of 1961.

After some time, he met his first wife, Merle Maxine Checketts, and he helped raise her young son and later adopted him. Maxine passed away in 1987.

He had studied watch repair while in the service and later, after receiving state certification, he set up business in Hood River. The family lived there until they decided to move to Stanfield where he again went into watch repair and opened a shop in downtown Hermiston on Main Street. Even though he had limited physical abilities and little education, he was blessed with a brilliant mind. Even at age 88, he was still able to accomplish the task of putting time pieces together and make them run smoothly.

After his first wife died, he remained a widower until Oct. 8, 1996, when he married Rosemary Elaine Swanson at the Hermiston Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church. They were sealed in the Portland Temple on May 9, 1998.

Harold was a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and enjoyed the fellowship there. He attended as often as his health permitted.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary of Hermiston; son, Wesley Raymond Wilcox of Portland; five step-children, Jim Swanson of Hermiston, Roberta Branch of Hot Springs, Ark., Howard Swanson of Pasco, Wash., Rebecca Murphy of College Place, Wash., and Steve Swanson of Kennewick, Wash.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 2, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church, located at 850 S.W. 11th Street in Hermiston. Burial will follow in the Hermiston Cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, John Clark Wilcox.

Memorials may be made in Harold’s name to a charity of choice. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of the arrangements.

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