1924 - 2023
October 5, 1924 – August 23, 2023
C. Fred Wilcox, M.D. passed away peacefully of natural causes on August 23rd, just two months before his 99th birthday in Thousand Oaks, CA. Living a life filled with accomplishment, sacrifice and good works, he approached all he did with character, integrity, courage and humor.
Born in 1924 in Salt Lake City, UT, the son and grandson of doctors, Fred and his family moved to Huntington Park and then to Hollywood when he was in grade school. He graduated from Fairfax High School on the day of the Battle of Midway in 1942. Serving in a Navy Reserve V12 unit, he completed an accelerated curriculum at USC until called up in 1944. After the war, he met and married Nancy Volker, who supported him through medical school at Temple University. He interned at Los Angeles County General Hospital, worked for a Japanese- American surgeon in downtown Los Angeles, and completed a fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1957 at the Mayo Clinic while simultaneously earning a master’s degree, also in OB/GYN.
During this time, he and Nancy had four daughters. They chose to move to Stockton, California for its smaller, welcoming community. They had two more daughters and a son in the ensuing years, as Fred quickly built his practice.
Known as a skilled medical practitioner and surgeon with the highest standards, excellent training and a kind, approachable manner with his patients, Fred practiced OB/GYN medicine in Stockton for 50 years, retiring at 83. He delivered over 5,000 babies and performed countless surgeries for his many patients. During these years, he helped raise his family, tended to patients, was a diplomate of the American Board of OB/GYN, a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, serving on its Board of Governors. He was a member of the San Joaquin Medical Society, CMA, AMA, the San Francisco and California Gynecological Societies. He served as Chief of OB/GYN at St. Joseph’s hospital from 1970-75, and closed out his career as a doctor with Sutter-Gould Medical Group.
Fred and Nancy married young and enjoyed 73 years of love and a partnership that was rare. They raised a close-knit family, providing an excellent example of respect, harmony and kindness. Thirteen years ago, they moved to Thousand Oaks, California, to be near their children and grandchildren, where they enjoyed meeting new friends and frequent family visits. Together, they have 13 grandchildren and, so far, 12 great-grandchildren.
A curious, lifelong learner, Fred kept himself informed of world events by reading three daily newspapers, and enjoyed reading biographies, books about WWI and II, politics, history and sports. An avid sports fan, he knew all about the players on many teams, especially his beloved USC Trojans, San Francisco 49ers and Giants, Golden State Warriors, and the Lakers. He was a master teller of jokes and lit up a room with his stories and humor. One of his greatest joys was teaching others. He taught at San Joaquin County Hospital and would share his knowledge and techniques with anyone willing to learn. He was a favorite with the student nurses who cared for him during his last few months, as he would quiz them on medications and procedures and encourage them in their studies. He educated anyone who would listen about World War II.
Fred was a fiercely loyal friend, a beloved husband and father, an admired colleague, and a patient, skilled physician, one of the last members of the Greatest Generation. He will be missed by his loving family and friends always. Fred is survived by his daughters, Nancy Lovell (Fred), Mary Arnold (Gary), Linda Sopo (Joe), Mari Gilbert, son Fred (Gina), 13 grandchildren and 12 great- grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Nancy Volker Wilcox, daughters, Virgina Urfer (Jim), and Joan Wilcox, as well as his parents, C. Fred and Shari Wilcox, and sisters Shari Daynes and Joy Cook.
There will be a private memorial for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Charles Frederick Wilcox III, M.D. to the Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First St., SW, Rochester, MN 55905. Please provide a mailing address with your donation.