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1923 Eugenia 2016

Eugenia Wilcox

February 17, 1923 — March 26, 2016

Eugenia "Jeanie" Holder Wilcox died peacefully on March 25, 2016 at age 93. She was a 73-year resident of Oak Ridge.

She was born in Newport, TN on February 17, 1923 to Ina Mae and Hugh Robertson Holder.

After graduating from Virginia Intermont, she came to Oak Ridge in 1943 to join the efforts of the Manhattan project in the security department where she rose to become a Division Secretary.

She married William "Bill" Wilcox Jr. in 1946. They had three children - Kitty, Bill and Martha - and she was actively involved in their education, sports and activities. She was a member of the PEO society to support education, actively involved in the PTA, a supportive room mother and tireless cheerleader for her children's sports and other endeavors.

The Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge Hospital was her life-long avocation and vocation. She began as a volunteer in 1962 when she helped set up the gift shop. In 1972, she was asked to become their first Director of Volunteer Services, and she formalized and organized an effective volunteer program for the hospital, made up of Gray Ladies, Pink Ladies, Candy Stripers and Gift Shop sales people, all of whom provided helpful service to ease the lives of patients and their families. She created new programs such as Patient Representatives and the Lifeline program, and trained hundreds of new volunteers in the intricacies of hospital volunteer work. After 17 years at the helm, she retired from the director position and became a volunteer again. She continued volunteering regularly until 2011, though she never stopped sharing her caring spirit with any visit to the hospital. In total, she served the hospital for more than 49 years.

She was an active member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, serving in the Women's Auxiliary in all positions including president in 1960. She helped found a vital church kitchen organization in the 1960s called "The Sisters of the Skillet," and she headed and supported several fundraising Christmas Bazaars for the church.

She was a constant support to her husband in their work to preserve the history of Oak Ridge. As a member of the 43 Club (whose membership is made up of those who lived in Oak Ridge in 1943), she had great stories to tell about the early days of the Secret City.

She was an avid bridge player, and was in three clubs that lasted more than 50 years. She enjoyed entertaining friends and family, spending time at her lake cottage, having breakfast at the Jefferson, cheering for the Lady Vols and bringing smiles to people with her jokes.

After the death of her husband in 2013, she moved to Canterfield, where she thrived in their caring, entertaining and supportive community. During her first year there, she won the Volunteer of the Year award in recognition of her lifelong commitment to volunteering. She benefited from the supportive care of director Kathy McCameron and the staff and community at Canterfield as well as from the compassionate dedication of Ronald Brabson and the many thoughtful caregivers from Home Instead.

Throughout her adult life, she was dedicated to and uplifted by the supportive community of Oak Ridge.

She is survived by:

Brother Hugh R. Holder and his wife Phyllis Holder.
Sister-in-law Sue Reed Wilcox.

Daughter Kitty Wilcox Soldano and her husband James Bennett Soldano.
Grandson James Wilcox Soldano and his wife Alison Guest Soldano.
Great grandchildren James Guest Soldano and Grace Bliss Soldano.
Granddaughter Jennifer Soldano Purcell and her husband Brian Robert Purcell.
Great granddaughter Bennett Caroline Purcell.

Son William Holder Wilcox and his wife Elizabeth Louise Todd.
Grandson William Benjamin Todd Wilcox.
Granddaughter Ellen Elizabeth Todd Wilcox.

Daughter Martha Minor Wilcox and her husband Robert Francis McIntyre.
Grandson Robert Wilcox Pickle and his fiancé Hana Marie Beckerle.
Step grandson Matthew Robert McIntyre and his fiancé Joanna Kahler.

And countless nieces, nephews and friends whose life she touched, and whose lives blessed hers.

The funeral will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Oak Ridge on April 9 at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Stephens Episcopal Church of Oak Ridge or ADFAC
(Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eugenia Wilcox, please visit our flower store.


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