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Rodney Cameron Wilcox, 92, of East Haddam entered into the presence of our Lord on March 5 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, after a long and courageous battle with multiple infections. We give thanks to God for this kind, supportive, giving, strong, and loving man who was a blessing to all who knew him. As husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, engineer, soldier, patriot, and active community participant, he was admired and appreciated for his devotion to family, friends, faith, community, and country.
Rodney was a son of the late Frank R. Wilcox and Minnie C. Shearer of Arnot, Pennsylvania. He grew up the eldest of three siblings and endured the loss of his mother at a very young age. Rodney joined the US Army during World War II after graduating from Williamsport High School in Pennsylvania. He rapidly rose to the rank of 1st sergeant in the 11th Airborne Division and played an important role in the Pacific Theater, Philippine Liberation, and Japan Occupation at the end of the war. He was still serving and ready at the onset of the Korean War.
Rodney was a talented mechanical engineer and graduate of Bucknell University. Following graduation, he applied his engineering skills in many roles while working at Westinghouse (Aiken, Souoth Carolina), United Nuclear (Montville), Electric Boat, General Electric, Babcock and Wilcox, and Sylvania Electric. Rodney was an active community participant. While living in Connecticut, he was a leader in the Lions Club (Ledyard), Scouts (Troop 55 in Gales Ferry); coached local baseball and soccer teams in Ledyard; and supported the US Coast Guard Academy Parents Association as treasurer.
Rodney was an avid lover and participant in music and theater. He sang in church and local community choirs in Connecticut and was active in musical theater, taking leading roles in at least 15 productions over his lifetime. One memorable role was when he played a lead in South Pacific, Emile De Becque, with his daughter Shari as Ensign Nellie Forbush. His passion and love of musical theater continued through talents passed on to his granddaughter Mackenzie.
He also enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, boating, and diving along the coast of the Long Island Sound. He was of late passionate about researching family history, tracing family ancestry to William Wilcoxson, who in 1636 founded Stratford. Rodney was a man of faith and member of the Gales Ferry United Methodist Church and covenant member of the First Congregational Church in Essex, while residing in Connecticut. Rodney was married for 64 years to the recently deceased Joyce Wilcox; he was a wonderful husband and was devoted to his family.
Rodney is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Fusco and husband Nicholas Fusco of Killingworth and Sharon Wilcox and fiancé Scott Weaver of Ivoryton; a son, Robb C. Wilcox and wife Maryann Wilcox of Holliston, Massachusetts; two grandchildren, Cameron Fusco and Mackenzie Wilcox; and sister Sally Rousseau of DeLand, Florida. He was predeceased by his brother Andrew Reid Wilcox of Arkansas.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15 at the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main St. in Centerbrook. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill, Essex. Burial with the rendering of Full Military Honors will be held in the Fountain Hill Cemetery, 57 High St. in Deep River at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Rodney Wilcox Memorial Choral Music Fund.” Make checks payable to the First Congregational Church in Essex, 6 Methodist Hill, Essex, CT 06426. On check memo line indicate “Rodney Wilcox Memorial Choral Fund.” To share a memory of Rodney or send a condolence to his family, please visit www.rwwfh.com.
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