Lily Wilcoxson’s Life in Review
Lillian Mae (Muck) Wilcoxson was born on October 2, 1937 in Smith County Kansas to Nathan Andrew and Meream Wilma Muck/Zimmerman. Lily’s brothers being Bill Muck, Frank Muck, Jim Muck, David Horning, Noah Jean Castile, and Carl Zimmerman and her sisters being Helen Chase, Adelia Muck, Hazel Nichols, Francis Muck, Doris Dice, Corliss Hatch.
Lily was raised by a woman named Netty King in Harlan, Kansas. And resided there until her sophomore year of school. At approximately 13 years of ageLily Mae would go to the farm of Bill and Lily Rice to help them with their children. Hazel would drive her over there and then pick her up after chores were done. Lily would help Hazel take care of her dolls and remained really close to Hazel for all the years to come. Helen was living in Topeka when she came home for Decoration Day with Lily in Logan, Ks. It was then that the two sisters had an accident in Helen’s 55’ Fairlane that left Lily laid up for quite a while as Helen took care of her in a full bodied cast.
Lily enjoyed the nursing field and taking care of others finding work at the Hospital in Hays, Kansas. Lily also worked as a car hop at the A&W Root beer in Enid, Oklahoma. She worked in a laundry mat, baby sat children, was a teacher’s aide, and lunchroom aide, a pastor’s wife, and mother.
Lily first met Kendall on a blind date arranged by her brother Frank at the diner in Smith Center where Helen and Lily worked together as waitresses. Frank and Kendall were best friends. Lily was married to Kendall A. Wilcoxson on January 12, 1956 at the Assembly of God Church in Beloit, Ks. by Vernon W. Whitmore. Their witnesses were Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert Hackerott and the guests present were Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Wilcoxson. Kendall and Lily were happily married for 44 years. While Kendall was overseas in Korea, He would mail Lily letters calling her “My angel.” She enjoyed the military life beginning in Mississippi, then to San Antonio’s Lackland AFB, to Enid’s Vance AFB, then back to Lackland, finally settling at McConnel AFB in Wichita. Lily had 5 children by the love of her life Kendall. Russell Alan Wilcoxson, Ronald (Ronnie) Wayne Wilcoxson, Tracy Neal Wilcoxson, Regina Gail Wilcoxson/Stevens, and David Mark Wilcoxson. Lily’s grandchildren being Tina Scott, Meagan Boone, Malia Dodge, Brett Wilcoxson, Hannah Wilcoxson, and Benjamin Wilcoxson.
Lily and Kendall’s first church attendance was in San Antonio, Texas at a Baptist church there where Bro. Lynch was the pastor.After moving to Enid, OK. They started going to Bible Baptist Church where Dr. Scotty Alexander was Pastor. In the 1960’s they moved to Wichita, Ks. And Kendall became the associate pastor at Bethel Baptist Church where Bro. Carl Bush was the Pastor. After Kendall’s hearing had became so bad Bro. Bush told Kendall and Lily they need to learn sign language.
They left Bethel to go to Glenville Bible Baptist Church in Wichita, Ks. where Bro. Jack Adrian was the Pastor. Lily became very good at learning ASL (American Sign Language). After Kendall and Lily sat under an interpreter for over a year learning ASL. While sitting in a service at Glenville Bible Baptist, Lily would laugh and get emotional during the services at the speakers or singers while Kendall missed the point or punch line. After visiting with several pastor friends and much prayer, they felt led of God to start a deaf church called the Silent Bible Baptist Church in Wichita, Ks. in May of 1969. Kendall was the founder and pastor, while Lily was the pastor’s wife and counselor to the ladies. Lily enjoyed taking the ladies to different towns in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas to sing and sign in ASL (American Sign Language) for the Lord. Lily also enjoyed organizing a vacation Bible School every year for the deaf kids. The ladies of the SBBC were very helpful to Lily in learning more ASL and deaf culture.
Lily loved planting fruits and veggies in her garden at San Antonio trying to get Ronnie to eat some fresh picked okra. Lily would annually plant a garden in the back yard of the house located at 1324 N. Jackson in Wichita. It was there where Ronnie, Tracy, and Regina would assist Warden Lily in pulling those stupid weeds. Lily also enjoyed canning jars of beans, tomatoes, mint jelly, etc.
Lily also enjoyed collecting anything old or antique. We remember mom buying a wringer type washing machine just for fun. Kendall came home with a comment something like “Lily Mae, why in the world did you buy that stupid thing for?” Lily replied… “I thought it would be fun.” The kids enjoyed it and believe that mom really bought it for them first and her own pleasure as well.
Lily also enjoyed sewing but felt inadequate. Lily made Regina several articles of clothing. Regina was influenced with her sewing abilities and would later make Easter dresses for her daughters.
Lily didn’t really garden again until the family moved to west Mulvane out in “Paradise Valley” where she enjoyed her pre-annual garden. Kendall’s diabetes and loss of eyesight became a problem for lily’s love of gardening when she planted a whole row of strawberries to the outside edge of the garden. They were near ready to pick when Kendall mowed the yard and could not distinguish the difference between grass and strawberry bushes. Yep, mowed right over them. After Kendall and Lily retired from the deaf ministry they became members of the Temple Baptist Church in Wichita, Ks. where Bro. Willard Neumann was pastor. The Neumanns were very instrumental in helping the deaf church SBBC get started in 1969. Kendall always struggled with his hearing in whatever church they went to. Lily was always helpful in interpreting for Kendall no matter what church or what place they went to. Lily was always taking care of her children, her husband, and her friends. Later, Lily joined the Calvary Baptist Church in Derby, Ks. where Bro. Kent Holcolmb was the Pastor at that time. Lily always talked of pastor Holcomb’s sermons and enjoyed being a member at His church. Lily also enjoyed many of the members there and one particular youth named Caleb. Caleb could do no wrong in her eyes. Lily had also met Joyce Mann who would be a very close friend at a camp in Colorado with the church group in September of 2011. Joyce was Lily’s best friend of many friends that she had. Lily enjoyed the widow’s group called “The Ruth ministry.” For several years Lily enjoyed teaching the deaf ladies in a Bible study out of her home in Derby taking them on field trips and teaching bible lessons of various topics for women. This was something that she was very passionate about and would often ask her eldest son Ronnie to help her with her lessons and devotions. Lily loved to teach the deaf ladies.
Through Lily’s life she had many close friends be it military wives, church ladies, or even a next door neighbor. She enjoyed visiting with people and sharing stories and the message of her Lord. Lily enjoyed scripture and made sure her children knew it as well. Every time a child stepped out of line or did something sinful, Lily felt it was her duty to place a hand written scripture verse applying to the sin and the sinner. If no response, more scripture was taped to the mirrors, dressers, or even refrigerator. We often wonder how Dad got his sermon ideas. Could it be mom?Lily’s pleasures came in many forms. Her nursing was always evident when someone had an ailment or pain. Lily had a cure. A person was never really healthy until they followed nurse Lily’s advice. If she was hospitalized or in the nursing home, Lily was going to critique their work, their abilities, and their knowledge of nursing.
Lily loved dogs. Mostly small ones like Toby, Tiny, and the last, Cody. One time while we lived on Jackson street mom bought a big dog from a friend where she worked as a teacher’s aide. His name was Pepper. After a week or so, one day Kendall was trying to work on a project, Lily was busy in the kitchen and the kids were running through the house chasing Pepper. Pepper made a big leap up on the end table knocking over the big lamp, dashing in front of Kendall’s working arms and out the door. Kendall hollered “Get that big elephant out of here right now.” Needless to say, Pepper had to go. Mom has always had a dog to keep her company after Kendal passed away. We believe that it also gave her comfort to still be caring and tending to its needs as was her nature.
Lily enjoyed reading her Bible mostly but also enjoyed romance novels, medical books, and devotionals by pastors such as John Mac Arthur, and Charles Stanley. Lily would rather read than watch T.V. or listen to the radio. Reading was priority. As children being raised up by our mother Lily, we remember that at any time we wanted to know what a word meant, mom would say… “Look it up in the dictionary.”
Lily loved ladybugs, lighthouses, and Cardinals. She also enjoyed going to visit her daughter and son-in-law in Savannah, Ga. Her favorite and often talked about spot was Tybee Island.
Lily’s favorite gospel song was “How great thou art” She also loved to lead the deaf ladies in such songs as “Wasted years (Kendall’s favorite)” and “The sounds of His coming.” Her favorite country song was “Mockingbird Hill”
Lily loved to work in her gardens and plant flowers and vegetables. Her favorite flowers were lilacs, sumac, and roses.
Lily was never to be tied down with illnesses. She had always struggled through with whatever happened in her life and made the best of a bad situation. In the early 70’sLily had a mastectomy on her left side and recovered rather quickly. All through Lily’s life she struggled on and off with allergies from dust, pollens, poison ivy and cigarette smoke. On November 22nd, 2015 Lily suffered from a stroke which left her partially paralyzed on the left side unable to move her arm or leg. In 2016, while in the nursing home at Westview of Derby Lily suffered with pneumonia and CDIF going in and out of the hospital. Lily was then transferred to Villa Maria in Mulvane where she really felt more at home and appreciated the care given her by the staff of the Villa. When COVID-19 became an issue with everyone, mo struggled with the separation of being able to visit like she had before with Ronnie and others. Just recently Lily struggled with seizures and never regained control until her Lord decided that she was better off with Him. Psalm 116:15…Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16) O LORD, truly I am thy servant; Lily Wilcoxson went home to be with her Lord and Savior on December 26th, 2020 at 6:30 am. From St. Francis Hospital. And so shall she ever be with the Lord. Amen.