Jerry W. WilcoxenFebruary 18, 1927 ~ February 5, 2017 (age 89)
Jerry Warren Wilcoxen
Jerry was born on February 18, 1927 in Idalia, Colorado to Thomas John Wilcoxen and Katherine Mae Ingalls Wilcoxen. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and 2 sisters, Margaret and Lorene and 1 brother Wayne. His younger brother Gene (Doc) still lives in the Denver area with his wife Harriett.
When Jerry was 17 he joined the United States Navy. He left school in his junior year to serve his country in World War II. Jerry finished High School after his time in the Military and graduated with the class of 1947 from Wray High School.
On September 11, 1952 Jerry married Dorothy Mae Hansbrough in Bellflower, California. She is the daughter of Dennis and Eva Hansbrough. After their marriage they returned to Idalia, Colorado where Jerry worked as a carpenter and farmed. Dorothy ran the local telephone office and worked 6 days a week, 24 hours a day. After 1 move back to California to work through the winter and back to Idalia the following spring and fall they moved to Denver and Jerry found employment with Public Service Company.
Jerry applied for and took the test for the Denver Fire Department on February 18, 1956, on his 29th birthday. He received notice that he had passed all the required testing and was ranked 4th on the hiring list. Jerry went to work for Denver Fire Department on June 1, 1956, and after 6 months on probation he received his permanent appointment. Jerry definitely found the right job; he loved the fire department from the very first day. Jerry was promoted to Engineer on January 16, 1965 and was assigned to station 5. After about a year he was transferred to station 1. On May 16, 1968 Jerry promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to station 15. Jerry tested and promoted to Captain on September 1, 1972 and transferred to station 16. Jerry tested and promoted to Assistant Chief on November 16, 1980 and stayed at station 16 until his retirement on March 1, 1982.
Their marriage was blessed with two children. Sherry Lynn and Tommie Dean. Sherry was born February 28, 1955 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. Tommie was born June 29, 1957 also at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. Sherry was called by her Lord from her earthly life July 9, 1968. Her Lord must have had a very special assignment for her to have called her at so young an age. Tommie grew up to be a good man and never caused us any worry. Tommie retired after 25 years in Law Enforcement, 23 of which were with the Colorado State Patrol, and retired with the rank of Major.
After Jerry retired they sold their home and traveled around the United States for several years and were able to see some very interesting and historical places.
Jerry always said that his world revolves around his family. He was upbeat most of the time, but certainly wished he could do some things over. His favorite time of year is September because of the cool nights and warm days. He loved to see the leaves change colors, the beginning of football season and the harvest.
Jerry and Dorothy have been active in the Harvey Park Christian Church for 45+ years and Dorothy has been a member of the choir for 44+ years.
Jerry stated that he as seen many changes in his lifetime. As a child, bread was 10 cents a loaf, milk was 10 cents a quart and sugar was 50 cents for 5 pounds. Wages were low back then and Jerry worked at a filling station for one dollar a day. Gasoline was 20 cents a gallon and oil was 15 cents a quart. When he was growing up they had a radio, but the reception was not very good and it was 30 miles to the closest movie theater and the movies were in black and white. Phones were used to announce events happening within the community and to remind people of a school program or pot luck supper. He has seen changes from bi-planes to space exploration and a man on the moon.
In 1998 and early 1999 Jerry started writing a book of his life titled “For My Children’s Children”. In this book he says “I have had a really good life, of course there are some things I wish I had done differently but that is not possible. I have tried to live with Christ in my heart and with the knowledge that I have fallen far short of what he expects. It’s going to be tough to face the Lord on Judgment day. I just hope I have done enough good things in my life to get to Heaven. I am thankful he is a forgiving Lord”.
Visitation was held at the Bullock Colonial Chapel on Friday, February 10th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m. A Celebration of Jerry's life was held at the Harvey Park Christian Church on Saturday, February 11th at 1:00 p.m. Private family graveside services will be held prior to the Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to the Tennyson Home for Children or the DFD Burn Center.
Family & friends are encouraged to share stories and photographs of Jerry here on his website (click appropriate tab on the left side of this page).