John Paul Wilcox, Jr. was born on May 9, 1945, in Mattoon, Illinois to John Paul Wilcox, Sr. and Allene Ray Ashworth. The first born of four children, John was raised by modest means, in a little midwestern town. As a young boy, he spent much of his time with his maternal grandparents where he developed his deep love for fishing and the outdoors.
While attending high school in Mattoon, John proved to be an industrious young man earning money from working as a newspaper delivery boy, a golf caddy, a lifeguard, a drug store delivery boy, and more. After high school, he attended the Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Il, until he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy which took him across the country to California. It was while performing night watch duties in the Navy that he received the Truth book from a fellow worker. John, who thought he knew a lot about the Bible, was surprised to find out how little he knew. Because of his new-found knowledge, he decided not to re-enlist in the Navy, despite their attempts to retain him. With Jehovah’s support, John proved yet again to be a hard worker, overcoming long held beliefs, opposition and unscriptural habits and on April 1, 1972 was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
During his time in the Navy, he learned skills which he later used working at Western Electric (now known as AT&T). During this time, John met Mary Cuddy when they were in the same congregation in California. They were married in 1981 and welcomed a son, Jeremy, at the end of that year. The family resided in California until 1985, when AT&T moved them to St. Louis, Il. The next year, after visiting his parents in sunny San Antonio Texas, John decided to leave AT&T and St. Louis, and moved to San Antonio to go into business for himself. John started a company called Wilcox Builders and Construction and built houses in the Bulverde, TX area for 10 years.
Tragically, in 1997, he suffered an accident which left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Though this left John physically limited, it in no way limited him spiritually. Prior to his accident, and continuing afterward, he participated in countless kingdom hall quick builds, as well as building the San Antonio Assembly Hall.
Throughout the years, John served as both a regular pioneer and an elder in multiple congregations in the San Antonio area, developing numerous lifelong friendships. He attended multiple Elders schools, pioneer school twice, and was blessed to contribute to numerous spiritual activities alongside his family.
In 2018, alongside his wife, son and his family, John began a new adventure when they moved from San Antonio TX to Bland County, Va.
He enjoyed the last few years of his life, serving as an elder in the Bluefield West Virginia Congregation enjoying the beautiful Virginia mountains, and spending time with his grandchildren.
After living for the last twenty-six years in a wheelchair, far outlasting expectations, John fell asleep in death Saturday November 25, 2023.
John is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary Wilcox. His son, Jeremy Wilcox and his wife, Cassey. His two grandchildren, Joshua and Rebekah Wilcox.
John is also survived by his siblings, Mary Clawson, Peter Wilcox, Susan Horath and their families.
Service will be held Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 2 pm virtually on zoom. Contact Jeremy Wilcox at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Serviced By Rodriguez Funeral Home, Pocahontas, Va., (276) 945-2154