Wilkes "Bill" Wilcox Jr.

Wilkes "Bill" Wilcox Jr.

Passed: May 22, 2024
Charleston, WV

Wilkes "Bill" Wilcox Jr.

Passed: May 22, 2024
Charleston, WV


Wilkes A. Wilcox, Jr., passed into the waiting arms of his Lord on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, after a long illness. Bill was born on September 5, 1943, in Charleston, WV. The family would like to thank the staff of the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority, The DaVita Center staff and Dr. Julian  Espiritu, CAMC General ER and hospital staff, Dr. Rita Patel, the staff of the Marmet Center, and hospice nurses who made his last days pain-free.

Family members who are waiting in heaven are Bill’s mother, Dorothy Fairbanks Wilcox; father, Wilkes A. Wilcox; sister, Sally Wilcox Wells, and brother-in-law, Linwood T. Wells.

Those left on this earth with precious memories are his wife of 58 years, Laura Brandon Wilcox; daughter, Susan Wilcox Ellis, and son-in-law, Philip Ellis; grandson, Brandon Wilkes Ellis; sister, Jacqueline Wilcox Weiss, and brother- in – law, Vinton C. Weiss; sister-in- law, Sara Brandon Wilson; nieces, Mary Bowsher and husband Michael, Vicky Dawn Chappell, Michelle Weiss Vareen and husband, Dwayne, Linette Wells, and nephews, Teddy Wells and Eric Weiss and wife Lisa.

Bill grew up in Charleston, WV, and attended Chamberlain Elementary, Horce Mann Junior High School and Charleston High School, where he was a member of the band, playing trumpet and baritone. He loved music and enjoyed listening to a true variety. He attended Morris Harvey College (University of Charleston) with degrees in Education: Social Studies and Speech. While living in Charles Town, WV, he attended Shippensburg University and in 1974 earned a Master’s Degree plus in Public Administration.

Bill’s priorities in life were Faith, Family, Friends and Education for All. He was a member of First Christian Church in the East End of Charleston, where he served in various capacities including Chairman of the Board. When First Christian and Boyd Memorial joined together as one, Bill was instrumental in the planning for and implementation of the new church. He worked with the minister, Steven Smith, to help assure a place in the community for the United Disciples of Christ Church.

Bill loved boating and travel with family, cars, and watches. He especially loved Deep Creek Lake in Maryland and Stonewall Resort in Roanoke WV.

Friends were extremely special to Bill. Growing-up friends, band members, Theta Xi Fraternity brothers, church members and the special bond he had with members of the team of educators and legislators with whom he worked. They were all family to him.

Bill considered it in honor and privilege to serve West Virginia’s educational system and its people for 44 years.

Beginning as a middle school teacher in Jefferson County in 1966, Bill became interested in serving students with individual education on needs. He soon became the Regional Coordinator for Adult Basic Education in Eastern West Virginia. Concurrently, he served as the first Adult Education Coordinator with the newly constructed James Rumsey Technical Institute.

Bill moved back to Charleston in 1975 and began working with the West Virginia Department of Education. His first position was Coordinator for Community Education in West Virginia; he then became Coordinator for Services to Business and Industry; Coordinator for Workforce Development programs; and finally became the Executive Director for Adult Education and Workforce Development where he served for 24 years. As a part of this position, he served as Director of Public Service training.

He was elected for two terms as president of the West Virginia Adult Education Association; collected walls full of Certificates of Appreciation and Awards from various organizations and was proud to be inducted into the CTE Hall of Fame, a capstone of the career in the field of Career, Technical and Adult Education.

Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at the United Disciples of Christ Church, 100 United Disciples Drive, South Charleston, WV  25309.

Visitation with friends and family will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the Loving Arms Ministry of United Disciples of Christ Church, at the above address.

To express online condolences to the family, please visit www.barlowbonsall.com .

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston, WV, has been entrusted with the arrangements.



  • Date & Time: June 29, 2024 (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
  • Venue: United Disciples Of Christ Church
  • Location: 100 United Disciples Drive, South Charleston, WV 25309 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (304) 925-7771

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: June 29, 2024 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: United Disciples Of Christ Church
  • Location: 100 United Disciples Drive, South Charleston, WV 25309 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (304) 925-7771

The Loving Arms Ministry Of United Disciples Of Christ Church

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4 responses to Wilkes "Bill" Wilcox Jr.

  1. Bill was a great mentor to me and everyone that worked with him at the State Department of Education. He was kind and worked well with his staff. He will be missed.

  2. Edward Hicks says:

    I worked for Bill Wilcox most of my 30+ years in the State Department of Education and have often said what a great mentor and friend he was throughout my tenure at the WVDE. I personally witnessed how Bill dealt with people, including subordinates, fellow educators and the general public and saw how he could be firm when the situation required, but always with a loving and forgiving spirit.
    I will always remember the laughter, the shared love of music, the friendship, and the life lessons throughout our time together.

  3. George Drain says:

    Bill was probably the individual that was most responsible for me working at the West Virginia Department of Education. He was a great supervisor and friend. He was terrific in managing the professional responsibilities of the job and dealing with many influential people outside the WVDOE. Bob Griffith was also a good friend of Bill and he kept me updated on Bill’s life after retirement. Bill will be missed and condolences go out to Lolly and his family.

  4. grew up next door to Bill and his sisters, Jackie and Sally many years ago in Kanawha City. Just a very good family and left good memories

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