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Hardage - Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home and Cemetery

850 St Johns Bluff Road North, Jacksonville, FL

OBITUARY

Lt. Loran Albert Wilcox

March 6, 1926May 24, 2020

On May 24, 2020, LT Loran Albert Wilcox of Inglis, Florida, passed away at the age of 94 from complications of a broken heart. His beloved wife, Erna, passed away four months earlier. Without his soulmate, Loran was a ship without an anchor.

Loran lived an extraordinary life. He served in three wars, traveled the world, married the love of his life, raised four wonderful children, and watched his family grow and flourish.

Little in Loran’s humble background suggested that the spectacular life he would lead was possible. Loran was born on March 6, 1926, to Minnie and Merrill Wilcox in Lily, Florida. At the age of five, Loran lost his mother and was sent to live with his grandparents. He loved his grandparents and credits them for raising him. Loran spent his formative years riding around Limestone, Florida on a horse-drawn wagon delivering mail with his grandfather.

Loran joined the US Navy when he was just 17 years old. While he was overseas, he sent his paychecks home to help support his family.

After World War II, Loran was stationed in Monterey, California. One evening, Loran’s little sister introduced him to one of her coworkers, Erna. It was love at first sight.

Loran was a true Navy “Mustang.” During his 27-year career, he went from an enlisted sailor to an officer. He accomplished this without a high school education.

Loran served on both submarines and ships. His years of service included World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He was affectionately called “Windy” by his fellow sailors because he was such a smooth talker.

After he retired from the Navy, Loran earned his GED and became the first person in his family to go to college. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida with a 3.98 GPA.

Loran always stressed the importance of education and was incredibly proud that all four of his children and all eight of his grandchildren graduated from college. Loran lived to see his oldest great-grandson graduate from the University of Florida with honors.

Loran’s love of learning inspired two of his grandchildren to create a scholarship in his honor. Since 2015, the LT Loran Albert Wilcox Scholarship has been awarded annually to a graduating senior from Citrus County.

In retirement, Loran continued to go on adventures. He and his wife visited every national park but one. Loran was a life-long learner. He studied the art and science of cutting stones into beautiful, sparkling gems. He loved bowling, hunting, and geocaching. Loran was known as “Buffalo” to the members of the Gulf Hammock Hunting Association. He was a Shriner and a 32nd Degree Mason. Loran read the newspaper every day and completed crossword puzzles in ink.

LT Loran Albert Wilcox was and is an inspiration. He will be missed.

Survivors include his son Robert and wife Sharyn Wilcox of New Port Richey, FL; daughter Linda Wilcox Zeiler of Jacksonville, FL; son Loran (Lonnie) Jr. and wife Laura Wilcox of Chandler, AZ; son Johann (John) and wife DeeDee Pierce Wilcox of Homosassa, FL; grandchildren: David Farren, Krissy Christopher, Michelle Chevalier, Heather Zeiler, Andrew Wilcox, Daniel Wilcox, LT Chadwick Wilcox, and Caitlin Wilcox; great-grandchildren: Aaron, Samantha, Keri, Connor, Jake, Ethan, Brody, and Avery.

He is preceded in death by his wife, parents, siblings, and son-in-law Fred Zeiler. Funeral services will be held at St. Timothy Lutheran Church located at 1070 N Suncoast Blvd., in Crystal River, Florida on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Pastor Joanie Holden will officiate. Interment will follow at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Memories

Lt. Loran Albert Wilcox

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