Blaine Hawkes Wilcox passed away in his home on February 20, 2022, a day after gathering with family and friends for a granddaughter's wedding. He was born on February 16, 1931, in Preston, Idaho, to Francis L and Florence Hawkes Wilcox. It was from his father, a carpenter, that he inherited a love of wood and building and creating. Blaine grew up primarily in Idaho and northern Utah. He served in the Northwestern States Mission from 1951-53 as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in post-war Korea from 1954-55 as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army. On October 23, 1959, he married his true love, MarJean Clark, in the Salt Lake Temple. Blaine graduated from the University of Utah and earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Northwestern University in Chicago. After dental school, they returned to Salt Lake City. From then on, that was their home.
Blaine could build a house and make a home and was always doing both. He found joy in working hard, serving anyone, teaming with his wife, teaching his children and loving God. He loved to work. His favorite vacations were spent fixing and improving the homes of his children. One of his fondest memories is when he was simultaneously practicing dentistry, parenting his six young children, and serving as bishop of the 27th East Ward. He loved the community and the people in the ward. During that same busy time of life he oversaw and worked on the construction of an addition to the ward’s chapel and installation of the pipe organ. Of course, he added crown moulding. A few years later, he designed, built, and installed light fixtures because he couldn't find any to adequately complement the building’s charm. His children don’t know anyone who worked as hard as their dad. He taught through constant example that any talent we have is for serving others.
Blaine was a dentist by trade, a carpenter by heart. Woodworking was his love language and he spoke it beautifully. If you have one of his carvings, borrowed a cradle, received help installing moulding, or have anything he made from wood, know that it was an expression of his love. He could fix or build anything. Blaine went about doing good and generously shared his talents with his church, his family, his friends and anyone he saw at Home Depot who appeared to be in need of some help. His hands were skilled at working wood and his mind was expert at working words. He composed humorous stories and quips that brightened and lightened any situation. A conversation with him was an exercise in wit and if you accepted the challenge, you were sure to have a good laugh.
Blaine served another mission with MarJean in the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission. They also served together as ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Temple. He loved working there, the beautiful building itself, and everything it represented – hard work, sacrifice, devotion, love, and faith. During the last decade of his dental career he donated his expertise to Temple Square missionaries from all over the world. Blaine delighted in learning how to greet the missionaries in their native languages. For some of these missionaries, their time at Temple Square was their only access to professional dental care. Blaine enjoyed the challenge of giving as much care as he could.
Blaine’s children learned the importance of hard work as his apprentices. They got to deliver early morning newspapers for over a decade, work chairside in his dental office, help strangers whose car stopped on the roadside, pour concrete, sweat pipe, roof, wire, and change brake pads. In hindsight, working together is how he accomplished so much outside of the home and still had a powerful influence on his home. His children also accompanied him to visit people and help neighbors, friends, and complete strangers with a problem he had the knowledge and tools to solve. As MarJean says, “He was a father and a husband, and those were the things he did best.”
Blaine is survived by his wife MarJean; children: Jennifer, Betsy (Robert Anderson), Nathan (Michelle Mangelson), Emily (Michael Cummings), Adam (Amy Hawkins) and Brigham (Macy Soffe); 26 grandchildren; one great-grandson; and his siblings: Deanne Allen, Shirley Nichols, Gordon Wilcox, Ella Simons, and John Wilcox. He is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings: Paul, Beth, Frank and Francis.
Family and friends may visit Friday, February 25th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. or Saturday, February 26th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the 27th Ward Chapel, 185 North P Street in Salt Lake City. Funeral services will be Saturday, February 26th at 12:00 noon at the same location and interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. If you knew Blaine, he probably helped you with a project, made you laugh, or carved something for you. In lieu of flowers lend someone a helping hand or donate to Smile Train or to the Church Humanitarian Aid Fund. Or watch The Princess Bride. As you wish.
For the funeral service via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/96747116055?pwd=RTJXRU1rdjV4UjZ3N1pNNVMvVTRoZz09
Smile Train: https://donate.smiletrain.org/givetoday
Humanitarian Aid Fund: https://donate.churchofjesuschrist.org/donations/church/humanitarian-services/humanitarian-aid-fund.html