SARANAC LAKE — Ellsworth E. "Red" Wilcox, 86, of 48 Petrova Ave., Saranac Lake, died Friday, March 14, 2014. He had been a patient of Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake since Nov., 2013.
"Red" was born on March 17, 1927, in Cortland, N.Y. He was adopted by Brad and Elizabeth Wilcox of Saranac Lake. Red's siblings were his sister Theresa, and his twin brother Ellwood, who were also adopted.
Red married Louise M. Branch on Sept. 6, 1948, in St. Bernard's Church in Saranac Lake. Red graduated from Saranac Lake Central High School in 1945. He attended Canton University and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving during World War II in the Pacific Theater with three battle stars.
From May 1946 to 1948, Red was employed by the Civil Service Police Department and commissioned in the Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii. Following his return to Saranac Lake, Red was employed as the Assistant Manager at the National Army Store from 1949 to 1960 and then for the Prudential Insurance Company as District Agent from 1960 to 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he was affiliated with the Ayres Insurance Agency in the property and casualty line. He also is a former real estate agent for Ayres Real Estate Agency. Following his retirement he worked part time as a sales clerk for Aubuchon Hardware in Saranac Lake.
Red was a member of numerous organizations including: National Association of Life Underwriters for 28 years, Tri-Lakes Life Underwriters Association, National Quality Award in Life Insurance for 16 years, Massena Chapter of Baseball Officials for Section 10, Lyon Mountain Chapter of Baseball Officials, Baseball and Adirondack Softball Association, where he was appointed to the Executive Board of both associations, member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, where he served as a Junior and Senior Warden and past member of the vestry, Saranac Lake Central School Hall of Fame Board and was the Grand Marshall of the 1999 Winter Carnival. He received several awards through out his career including the L.U.T.C.F. Designation in 1986 and the National Sales Achievement Award 1977 - 1983
Red enjoyed many hobbies including, woodworking, fishing, umpiring for baseball and softball games, working on the chains on sidelines during local high school football games. One of his biggest joys was being chosen to work the chains for Saranac Lake Championship state football game in 1992 at the Syracuse Carrier Dome where one of the players from Saranac Lake happen to be his grandson. Red also enjoyed cross country skiing with friends and his wife Louise. One of Red's favorite hobbies was having popcorn with his grandchildren while watching sports on TV. He was an avid New York Yankees and New York Giants fan.
Red's greatest achievement was his 65 years of marriage to Louise. He was a fantastic father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Red will be well remembered for some of his favorite sayings and lines such as: Always spoke of his children or grandchildren as his tax exemptions, "We went to different schools together", "I will have a glass of water as long as it is wet" and "make sure if you cheat, you cheat fair" (in board games and cards) Red was a big fan of animals, especially his pet dog Trisket.
He is survived by his wife Louise of Saranac Lake; six children, Steve Wilcox and his wife Margaret of Saranac Lake, Sharon Langdell of Saranac Lake, Craig Wilcox and his wife Donna of Bloomingdale, Darlene Wilcox of Palmyra, N.Y., Brad Wilcox of Saranac Lake, and Michael Wilcox and his wife Amber of Saranac Lake, 19 grandchildren, 22 great- grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents; his twin brother, Ellwood; his sister Theresa; his father-in-law, Spencer Branch; and mother-in-law, Stella Branch; and one son-in-law, Michael Langdell.
Calling hours will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday March 21, at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Saranac Lake, with The Reverend Ann S. Gaillard officiating. Burial will take place in St. Bernard's Cemetery in the spring.
The family would like to especially thank the wonderful staff of the McAuley Ward at Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake. Friends wishing to remember Red may make memorial contributions to the Mercy Living Center in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also sign the online guest book and share their memories of Red at fortunekeoughfuner alhome.com.