Obituary of Julian J. Wilcox Jr.
Hamden, NY- Julian Jay Wilcox, Jr.,84, passed away at his home on April 5, 2019, after a brief illness.
Julian was born on December 10, 1934, in Oxford, NY on a dairy farm still in operation today by his youngest brother, Lawrence Wilcox and Lawrence’s son, Nolan. He had four younger brothers - Wayland, Duane, Francis, Lawrence. Julian graduated as Valedictorian from Oxford Free Academy in 1952. While in high school, he played trumpet in the band, began some cello instruction, and continued piano lessons.
Julian went to The State University of New York at Fredonia to study music education with the intent to major in piano. However, the college needed more cello players, so he majored in cello. Throughout his four years, he learned to play all string, woodwind, and brass instruments and was instilled with the importance of giving all students a proper performance experience of being accompanied for all solo performances.
After graduating as the Valedictorian of the Fredonia Class of 1956, he got his masters’ degree at Columbia Teacher’s College in New York City. Julian then enlisted in the US Army National Guard in Walton, NY. While waiting to attend US Army Basic Training, he taught temporarily in Edmeston and South New Berlin. He then completed basic training at Fort Dix, NJ. Julian served as the Company Clerk for the Walton National Guard for seven years.
In 1957, Thomas O’Neill hired Julian as the K-12 Orchestra Director at Walton Central School where he also taught band and chorus at various times throughout his career in addition to serving as a traveling music teacher for one room schoolhouses every Friday during his first few years.
In addition to teaching K-12 music for 37 years at WCS, Julian served as the NYSSMA Zone 8 rep for many years and served as a NYSSMA adjudicator at several NYSSMA festivals throughout the state. Julian also played the cello in the Catskill Symphony Orchestra as well as in the Jericho String Quartet for many years.
Julian came out of retirement several times to fill in for a music teacher on leave both in Walton and Downsville, NY where he continued to share his love of music with students. Julian also continued to teach lessons at his home to public and home schooled children as well as adult musicians in addition to playing music with his seven grandchildren whenever they came to visit. Many of these students have gone on to become professional musicians, music teachers, and many have encouraged their children to play musical instruments.
Over the course of 54 years, Julian played the organ and directed the choir at the Congregational Church in Walton, NY. He also played the organ and directed the choir at the Presbyterian Church in Hamden, NY for several years as well and was an integral member of both church communities.
Julian was a member of the American Guild of Organists Oneonta Chapter and was a member of the Delaware County Men’s Choir serving as a tenor and accompanist.
Serving as an active Mason for 54 years, Julian was a member of Delaware Valley Lodge No. 439 of Free and Accepted Masons, and was raised in Walton Lodge No. 559 by his father in 1965. He also belonged to Oneonta Chapter No. 277 Royal Arch Masons. For many years, he served the Masonic fraternity as secretary and musician.
Most recently, Julian played tuba and trumpet with the Walton Community Band and cello and piano with the Delaware County Dulcimer Group that rehearses every Tuesday morning. When not involved with music. Julian enjoyed playing games with senior citizens at Our Place at the Walton Presbyterian Church, at the Walton Methodist Church, with the Hamden Game Day crew twice a month. He also did jigsaw puzzles and solved word puzzles at home.
Julian believed that music was for all and that anyone could play an instrument. He spent a large portion of his life giving lessons to a whole range of students from the young ages of 3 and 4 to school age students to senior citizens who either once played an instrument and wanted to play again or who never had played but had always wanted to learn to play the cello or other instrument.
For the past several years, Julian spent every Saturday playing music in the fellowship hall of the Walton Congregational Church with musicians of all ages who joined him either playing string instruments at one time of the day or band instruments at another time of the day. Recently he began a youth choir of children from the Walton Community which met every Friday after school. He and the children would go and sing at the Delhi Rehab Center once a month to be followed by a pizza party.
Julian has always been grateful to Miss Beth Carhart, his school music teacher who gave him free piano lessons each week after school from fifth through twelfth grade. This is a gift that he in turn has continued to pass on to any interested students throughout his lifetime including his three children –Ann Margaret, Jennifer, Jonathan, and seven grandchildren- Jordan, Aidan, Abigail, Jacob, Nathan, Emily, Molly.
Julian is survived by his wife of 52 years, Virginia, daughter Ann Margaret (Jeffrey) Weis of Nolensville, TN, Jennifer (William) Dove of Owego, NY, and son Jonathan (Rebecca) Wilcox of Jamesville, NY; and seven grandchildren Aidan and Nathan Weis, Jordan, Abigail, and Jacob Dove, and Emily and Molly Wilcox; and brothers Wayland (Dorothy) of North Augusta, SC, Duane (Nanette) of Earlville, NY, Francis of Oxford, NY, and Lawrence (Suzanne) of Oxford, NY as well as many nieces and nephews.
A funeral memorial service will be held at 10:30am at the First Congregational Church in Walton, NY, 61 North Street to celebrate the life of Julian Wilcox on Wednesday April 17, 2019. Luncheon with time to talk with the family will follow in the fellowship hall. A burial service will be held at the Riverview Cemetery in Oxford, NY, at 4:00pm.
Memorial monies may be made to Walton Central School District c/o the Julian Wilcox Music Lesson Scholarship Fund, 47-49 Stockton Avenue, Walton, NY 13856 to provide private music lessons to both public and homeschooled children within the Walton Central School District.