February 8, 1930 – May 16, 2020
Lt Commander Bruce Wilcox, a retired Naval Aeronautical Engineer and GE Aero-Space Division Systems Engineer, died on Saturday, May 16th from complications related to corona virus.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Ann Wilcox (nee Ballinger), his brother John (Jr.), his children, Jane Wilcox, Craig Wilcox and Claire Johnson (nee Wilcox), his 7 grandchildren, Caitlin Kern, Kelsey Kern, William Wilcox, Wesley Wilcox, Jessica Wilcox, Jennifer Wilcox, and Holland Johnson, and his great grandchild, Isla Bruce Kern. He is predeceased by his Mother and Father, Grace Marguerite Butcher Burchette and John Elwin Wilcox.
Bruce was born in Queens, NY in 1930. As a young man, he went to Rensselaer Polytech Institute where he participated in the US Navel ROTC program, and in 1953 graduated with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. Upon graduation, he entered the US Navy as an Ensign on the USS Joyce, a radar vessel sailing in the North Atlantic, then, as a Lieutenant , he was stationed at the Naval Unit of the US Armed Services Special Weapons Unit as Sandia Base in Albuquerque, NM, which at that time was the principal nuclear weapons installation of the United States Department of Defense. In 1958, while serving in NM, Bruce earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Univ. of NM.
After leaving active duty in 1960, Bruce and Ann relocated to Horsham, PA, by way of Norristown, PA, where they lived until 1973 when they moved to Berwyn, PA, followed by 28 years at Hershey’s Mill in West Chester, PA. Ann and Bruce have lived at Echo Lake in Malvern since Summer, 2019.
Upon relocating to PA, Bruce was an active member of the US Naval Reserve at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, advancing to the rank of Lt. Commander, and began his career as an Aero-Space Systems Engineer with the Aero-Space Division of General Electric in King of Prussia, PA.
During his career with GE Aero-Space, Bruce led the development of a number of major new space systems, including several classified satellite defense systems. During this time, Bruce also earned an MS in Engineering Science from Pennsylvania State University and was named one of six charter members of GE Aero-Space’s “One-in-a-Thousand”, which honors achievement and excellence. Bruce continued in the US Navel Reserves through retirement from GE in 1993.
Following retirement, Bruce happily and proudly served as after school “taxi driver and caregiver” to his eldest granddaughters Caitlin and Kelsey, and spent his spare time building and furnishing over 40 beautiful dollhouses to add to his extensive collection of model tall ships, airplanes and ‘fast cars’ built over the years. Bruce’s fondness for real fast cars included his favorite 1972 Plymouth Road Runner 440, which he maintained in pristine condition, and in later years was seen displayed with its ‘Classic’ plates at local car shows. Since moving back to the East Coast from New Mexico to PA in 1960, Bruce’s favorite pastime was spending time locally with his cherished family, and with them in the sun, sand and surf on Long Beach Island, NJ and Bermuda.
At a future date yet to be set, Lt. Cmdr, Ret. Bruce Wilcox will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, VA), and will be memorialized in the church yards at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in the Great Valley (Malvern, PA), and Holy Trinity (West Chester, PA). as well as at his ancestral graveyard at West Branch Cemetery (Wellsboro, Tioga County, PA). A celebration of his life will also be scheduled when the stay-at-home order is lifted, and his family, friends and acquaintances are able to gather together for the first time since his passing.
Condolences may be offered by mail only to Ann Wilcox, 900 N Atwater Drive, #364, Malvern, PA, 19355 or on Legacy.com. Arrangements were made by the Alleva Funeral Home in Paoli, PA.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in his name to the heroic medical care providers who took care of him during his final days at the COVID-19 Care Unit, Oaks Building at the Quadrangle (Haverford, PA) via GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/caring-for-our-carers.