Landscapes 09

Chester "Chet" Wilcox

December 2, 1939 ~ August 26, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


Chester “Chet” C Wilcox, 83, of Carmel, IN passed away August 26, 2023. He was born December 2, 1939 in Coffeyville, Kansas, to Bert and Alice (Piester) Wilcox. At age 6, the family moved to Sedan, Kansas where Chet graduated from Sedan High School.  One of Chet’s favorite activities in high school was visiting his grandparents’ ranch outside of Dodge City, where he would “cowboy” and help his grandfather round up cattle on horseback and drive several miles to the rail yard to board trains. During high school and junior college, Chet lettered in football, where he received his associate degree from Coffeyville JC. He then attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, where he earned degrees in Applied Mathematic (BS in 1961 and MS (Statistics in 1963). He was at the forefront of the computer age and took computer programming and linear programming math to be ready for the huge emerging frontier of mathematical computer ocean and weather modeling.

Chet was a member of ‘Sigma Alpha Epsilon’ Fraternity, and while attending KSU, he met and married the “love of his life”, Rosemary J. Haas, of Wichita, from Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.

In 1963, Chet first worked at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation Sonar Development and Modeling, in Burbank, CA. He also worked in Honolulu, HI, and Virginia Beach, VA. He then became a civilian employee of the US Navy in the field of applied mathematics and physical oceanography modeling, and Chet and his family moved to Monterey/Carmel, CA.

Chet started his federal government career at the Fleet Numerical Weather Modeling Center in Monterey in 1971 where he received the US Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. In 1977 he moved to a position as Naval Research Department Head at the Navy Ocean Research and Development Activity (NORDA) on the MS Gulf Coast south of Picayune, which became the Navy Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research Activity and later the Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center. Chet became the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations in 1990 at the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC), where he received his second US Navy Superior Civilian Service Award. He retired from that position and federal service in 2000.

Chet, Rosie and their family enjoyed life and their friends everywhere they lived. He embraced the jogging and hiking/backpacking movement of the 1970’s and even ran some half marathons. In the 1980’s, Chet adopted bicycling and it became a passion. He was actively involved with Y-Indian Guides, Boy Scouts, was a soccer coach, referee, as well as driving to countless swim meets with two sons who were year-round swimmers.

Chet and Rosie enjoyed traveling the country, visiting Europe, attended Wilcox family reunions, as well as KSU and New Orleans Saints football games. Chet played some roles with Picayune On-Stage Theatre, including CDR, and Queen in the Caine Mutiny.

As an avid cyclist, Chet completed many goals he had aimed for decades earlier. In 2003, Chet and 3 friends bicycled over 4,000 miles completing the Lewis and Clark Trail across the US from Baltimore to N Washington State. In 2012, Chet (with Rosie on a tandem bike) logged his 100,000 lifetime miles bicycling in all 50 states and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary date on June 2, 1962.

Some of the cities Chet and Rosie have lived in are Los Angeles, Honolulu, HI, Virginia Beach, VA, Monterey, CA and Picayune, MS (Hide-A-Way Lake), and recently, Carmel, IN.

Survivors include his loving wife of 61 years, Rosemary; sons, Warren, Russel (Nancy), and Chris; grandchildren, Miles, Hannah (LT), Jessica (Trey), Francie, Matthew, Cal, Amy (Bill) Sones, Dr. Sera (Lane) Cox; great-grandchildren, Will, Anna K, Sunny, Skylar, Cali, Parker, and Amaya.

There are no services scheduled at this time. Chet’s final resting place will take place in Greenwood Sedan, Sedan, KS.

Bussell Family Funerals is privileged to assist the family in arrangements.

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