LOUDON- Robert F. (Bob) Wilcox, of Loudon, NH lost his ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s on September 4, 2020 at Bedford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (BNRC) where he had been so well and lovingly cared for since December 2017.
Bob was born on February 3, 1941 in Cambridge, MA and grew up in Melrose, MA, graduating from Melrose High School in 1960.
He leaves his beloved wife of 36 years, Deborah (Ross) Wilcox of Loudon; a son Christopher R., Campton, NH; daughter-in-law Jennifer Morris, Plymouth, NH; son-in-law Dr. James Flaherty, West Hartford, CT; brother Douglas (Judith) Wilcox, Bridgewater, NH; sister Lorraine Pouliot, Fruitland Park, FL; as well as beloved grandchildren Eilish, Declan, Cailin and Colum Flaherty of West Hartford, CT, Sawyer Wilcox of Bozeman, MT, and Carter Wilcox of Plymouth, NH. Also surviving are sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Susan and Kirk Kennedy and Miriam and Robert Chandler.
Bob leaves many beloved nieces and nephews on whom he was a major influence. They include Xander Kennedy, Scott (Allyson) Kennedy, Myles Chandler, and Sam (Becky) Chandler. Bob is also survived by his first wife and dear friend Mary (Steve) Ladd, Middletown, CT; and much-loved foster son Darrin (Amy) Apichell, Concord, NH.
Bob made friends everywhere all his life and enjoyed people of all ages. Deb has reaped the benefits these past few years of everyone Bob ever liked and helped. Bob enjoyed traveling, camping, and of course fishing and hunting! When the Alzheimer’s diagnosis came his doctor said, “You are not your disease Bob, now go out and continue to make a life!” He and Deb did just that and enjoyed every good day they could!
Bob was predeceased by his parents Frederick and Jean (Longmuir) Wilcox and his daughter Le-An (Wilcox) Flaherty.
Bob had many talents and worked at several careers in his life from chef, industrial sales and distribution, and occasional construction, including building his and Deb’s house himself with lumber he took off their land. He also loved to garden and grew many, many more vegetables than two could eat! He loved to help others and was quick to drop his own projects to go on a Loudon Fire Department call or help a friend or family member with a project!
When Bob got into firefighting, he really found his love and calling. He joined the Loudon Volunteer Fire Department as soon as he moved to town and quickly got involved with forest firefighting and working on the forest fire equipment. He took all the training to become a certified Firefighter I. Bob was a Deputy Forest Fire Warden for the Town of Loudon and eventually a Special Deputy Warden for the State of NH. For many seasons (after hours of volunteering) the NH Department of Forests and Lands hired Bob to be the Oak Hill Fire Tower Lookout. He loved those hours in the tower and especially greeting visitors and teaching children about the Osborne fire finding equipment. In his later fire fighting years Bob became certified to teach Forest Fire Fighting at the NH Fire Academy and to participate in trainings at the Academy and all over the State with their mobile equipment. There is a generation of fire fighters around NH that were taught by “Grampy” Wilcox.
Bob’s family would like to offer heartfelt love and thanks to everyone at Bedford Nursing & Rehab Center for Bob’s care. Everyone was kind and caring and patient with Bob, and Deb as well. We can be sure he is dancing somewhere and thinking of you all!
A memorial service will be held at East Congregational Church in Concord, NH when we are able to gather to celebrate Bob’s life as he would wish, which would have to include hugs and a few beers!
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Bedford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Residents’ Fund, 480 Donald St., Bedford, NH 03110; East Congregational Church, 51 Mountain Rd., Concord, NH 03301; or the Loudon Fire Department, 8 Cooper St., Loudon, NH 03307. Assisting the family with arrangements is the Petit-Roan Funeral Home in Pembroke. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.petitroan.com
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Loudon NH Fire Department
8 Cooper Street, Loudon NH 03307
Bedford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Residents’ Fund
480 Donald St., Bedford NH 03110
East Congregational Church
51 Mountain Rd., Concord NH 03301