Doris Lorraine Hayes Wilcox, 97, of Palmer, passed away on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
Doris was born on September 1, 1923 in Palmer, to Lee Eldon and Gladys Leah (Hewitt) Hayes. As a girl, Doris had a pony and travelled around the village with her friends. They often built campfires and fried potatoes. Palmer High School ended at eleventh grade. Doris then attended, and graduated from Taylorville High School with the Class of 1941. Her comment about this move was that she, “became a little duck on a big pond.”
Following high school, Doris attended Brown’s Business College in Springfield, while her family lived on a farm on the southeast edge of Springfield. She joined the Alpha Iota Sorority. While the men were away in the service, twelve of the girls formed a group that they called “Gusto”. These twelve Gusto Girls continued to meet every month until just a few years ago. Doris was the last surviving member.
After graduating from Brown’s, Doris rode the “Traction” to the Illiopolis Munitions Plant, working in the personnel department. When the plant was closed, Doris’ department was the last to leave. Since no one was there to take her identity badge, she was one of the very few allowed to keep hers.
On December 14, 1946 Doris and Warren Reed Wilcox were married at Davis Memorial Church in Taylorville. They had been sweethearts since they were fifteen years old. Before beginning their life-long job of farming, Warren worked as a carpenter, and Doris worked at Hummer Manufacturing in Springfield, a business owned by Montgomery Ward.
Doris was a life-long member of the Advent Christian Church in Palmer, holding many positions, including Sunday School and VBS Director, Deaconess and Treasurer, Cub Scout Leader, Red Cross Blood Drive Volunteer – a 15+ gallon donor herself. She and Warren were members of the Twist and Twirl Square Dance Group, dancing in many states. She was a member of Christian County Lady Landowners, Christian County Senior Citizens, and the Charlie’s Angels tap dance group. Doris also played pinochle, and was a member of multiple bridge clubs. Her favorite sports teams were the St. Louis Cardinals and the Illini basketball team.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Warren; and her parents.
Doris is survived by her sons, Larry Hayes Wilcox of Springfield, and Bruce Lee Wilcox (Donna) of Palmer; granddaughters, Christy Bloome (Clayton) of Pawnee, Bobbie Harker (Hank) of Palmer, and Laura Ahrens (Andrew) of St. Louis, MO; and great grandchildren, Jacob Bloome (Rachel Dougherty) of Springfield, Rebecca Bloome (Dustin Craig) of Pawnee, and Hayden, Brody, and Elayna Harker, all of Palmer.
Visitation and Funeral Ceremony: The family will receive guests from 12:00 p.m. until the time of ceremony at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021 at Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home in Taylorville, with Rev. George Elder officiating. You are invited to watch a livestream of Doris’ funeral ceremony at: https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/24851638
Interment will follow the ceremony at Morrisonville Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Senior Citizens of Christian County, 701 W. Adams Street, Taylorville, IL 62568.
Please visit www.assalleyfuneralhomes.com to share memories of Doris, or offer condolences to her family.