Robert “Bob” Wilcox, age 86, passed away peacefully at his home with his wife by his side in Grand Junction, Colorado, on August 2, 2022.
Born in Northport, Michigan, during the Great Depression in 1935 to Claude and Christena Wilcox, Bob knew the value of hard work and frugality. At age eleven, he earned money picking cherries to pay for an eye exam and glasses rather than asking his parents. After graduating from Northport High School, he briefly attended Michigan College of Mining and Technology.
Bob married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Bussey, in 1954. He started his family and career in Flint, Michigan, working for 19 years at General Motors, beginning as a tool and die machinist and leaving as a foreman. In 1973, Bob purchased a motel and moved his large brood to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He was an entrepreneur for over 40 years with properties in Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas. Bob and Sharon owned and operated West Gate Inn and Otto’s Restaurant in Grand Junction for 28 years.
Bob’s priority was his family, working hard to ensure their care and education. A jack-of-all-trades and accomplished carpenter, he completed tasks himself and taught his children valuable skills.
With a positive spirit and open heart, Bob’s generosity, selflessness, and love knew no limits. He sparked friendly, funny, insightful conversations with everyone he met, offering humor, wisdom, and acceptance. It was rare to leave his presence without receiving a practical gift. If you spent time with Bob, you likely now own a crucifix, Right to Life pin, Bible, flashlight, or Spanish dictionary.
He enjoyed reading, hunting, traveling, and learning Spanish as a constant learner and a great teacher. If Bob was not building or fixing something, he was probably quizzing you about history, teaching you Spanish, or asking you to recite the presidents in order. His quest for worldly knowledge led him to visit many countries, including solo adventures in Spanish-speaking areas, to immerse himself in the language and culture. An avid collector, he amassed impressive collections of antiques and items of interest.
A man of faith, Bob prayed before every meal, thanked God daily for his blessings, and worked to help others. He served his communities as a member and leader of many groups and helped found organizations for single mothers. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, an advocate for Right to Life, and a firm believer in accepting and loving all people.
Robert is survived by his wife of 68 years, Sharon (Bussey) Wilcox, children Sharee Black, James (Mary Ann) Wilcox, David Wilcox, Ann (Wayne) Fox, Joseph Wilcox, Carol Wilcox, Bradley (Julia Morizawa) Wilcox, Christena Bligh and Lisa (Beau) Foubert, daughter-in-law Verla Wilcox, 25 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters Patricia Vingsness, Barbara Mervau, and Kathleen Kelly.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, brother, two sisters, an infant daughter, son William Wilcox, son-in-law Duane Black and grandsons Chad Sulzmann and Jared Parsons.
The family would like to thank the team at HopeWest for their excellent care and attention. Bob was immensely appreciative of their assistance with his end-of-life journey. Contributions can be made in his name to HopeWest.
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