Robert J. Wilcox

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Robert J. Wilcox

June 17, 1931 -

Robert J. Wilcox Robert John Wilcox, 87, of Leland, passed away peacefully at his home. Bob was born on June 17, 1931 in Battle Creek to the late Dr. Cecil Ovid Wilcox and Genevieve (Klenk) Wilcox.
After graduating from Lake View High School Bob enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served stateside for two years at the Great Lakes Naval Station, receiving his training as a dental technician.
Upon his discharge he moved back to Battle Creek and then to Lansing, where he began his career in the dental field.
While at home he met a beautiful young woman named Helen Margaretha "Greta" McIntyre, who was a dental assistant at Bob's father's dental practice. The two soon fell in love and united in marriage on April 27, 1957.
As a young boy he and his family spent many vacations up north. The beauty of Lake Michigan and the lifestyle here drew him and his young family, so in 1960 he and Greta moved north to raise their family. He started his own dental lab business and owned and operated it for over 45 years. When Bob retired at age 70, the outpouring of gratitude from the Traverse City dental community was immense. To this day, Bob's positive impact on the industry and colleagues can still be found.
The outdoors brought Bob great joy, including everything from spending time on the beautiful crystal waters of Lake Michigan on a sailboat or sport fishing boat, to duck hunting with his son and close friends, to cross country skiing as a family. Bob also enjoyed playing golf and tennis throughout his long life, although the water was his true happy place.

The small but unique cottage Bob built in Northport remains in the family and will always be a treasure with over 40 years of memories that will continue to live on there.
Bob was also a very gifted and talented fine woodworker, although he was equally as humble, and many probably never knew of this amazing talent before a news story on TV 7&4 featured him. His hard working hands made unique pieces, including boats and canoes, many of which he donated to various organizations in the Grand Traverse area as well as to his family members. His fine furniture creations grace his residence and always provided conversation for visitors. He also crafted unique treasures for each of his family members, including a special dining room table and even a replica boat that he fashioned into a crib for his granddaughter.
Everyone especially looked forward to the holidays when Bob would bake his delicious apple pie.
Bob's three grandchildren were very important to him and he loved them with all of his tender heart. Bob truly enjoyed being an important part of his grandkids' lives by attending sporting and school events for 27 years, including basketball, volleyball, sailing, golf, skating, high school theater and choir performances.
Early in life Bob was a member of the Traverse City Exchange Club and was a proud property and business owner in downtown Traverse City. Most recently he participated in the Waterford Neighborhood Association. Many neighbors had become Bob's close friends. And, the family is forever grateful for those friendships and genuine care displayed by them for their dad.
Bob will be greatly missed by his family; son, Stephen (Cindee) Wilcox, of Newaygo; daughter, Susan Wilcox Olson; son-in-law, Chuck H. Olson, of Suttons Bay; daughter, Laura Wilson and partner, Rick Shimel, of Traverse City; and his beloved grandchildren, Charlie Olson, of Traverse City, Hannah Olson, of Portland, Oregon, and Olivia Wilson, of Traverse City (currently attending college in Syracuse, New York).
Bob was preceded in death by his beautiful bride of 50 years, Greta; his sister, Beverly; and his parents.
Please join the family in celebrating and honoring Bob's life on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at noon at the Old Art Building in Leland for a service and luncheon.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Wings of Mercy, Traverse Area Community Sailing (TACS) and the Pathfinder School.
Please visit to share your condolences and memories with the family.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on November 4, 2018
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