Jim Willcock - December 18, 2011Former Stockham resident Elvin James “Jim” Willcock, 82, of Falls Church, Va., died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011.
A true pioneer, Jim Willcock, was Aug. 23, 1923, to Martin Van Buren and Margaret Ann (Beat) Willcock in his home in Stockham. The population at the time in Stockham was less than 200 residents.
Jim was valedictorian of the Stockham High School Class of 1940 and graduated at the age of 16. He attended the Nebraska College of Commerce (NCOC) in Hastings. In 1942 he took and passed the Civil Service examination at the Hastings Post Office. After passing the test he received a Western Union telegram offering him a position as a junior clerk stenographer in Washington D.C. As he stated, “I was on my way to fame and fortune.” He began working for the personnel division for the National Guard Bureau.
Jim was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and was quickly promoted from Private First Class to Corporal, Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. After attending Japanese Language School he was deployed to Yokohoma, Japan three months following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He received an honorable discharge in 1946 and returned to the personnel division of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.
After 41 years and 3 months, Jim retired from the National Guard Bureau. He received many civilian awards while employed at the Pentagon. Among them were the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service (Army’s highest civilian award), Decoration for Meritorious Civilian Service (Army’s second highest award), and the National Guard Association of the United States Meritorious Service Award, and the Eagle Award (the highest award in the National Guard).
Jim married the late Elizabeth “Bettie” Lee (Price) Willcock (March 1990) in May of 1948. The couple moved to Arlington, Va. before moving to the City of Falls Church, Va. where he lived in the same house until his death. Jim was able to keep the same phone number from 1948-2012.
Jim was an avid bowler. He was still bowling in three different leagues, three days a week and had bowled for over 60 years. Over the last few years he was awarded the Gold Medal in the Senior Olympics multiple times. The week before his death he bowled a 211.
Jim was very proud of his Nebraska heritage. He still subscribed to his hometown newspaper, the Aurora News-Register, and was always sharing new clippings with his family and friends.
All of his children, the late Elvin J. Willcock Jr. (January 1988), Deborah Halverson, Sharon Ballard and Susan Ballard attended Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and graduated from George Mason High School, both in Falls Church.
He leaves behind six grandchildren, Timothy Halverson, Christopher Halverson, Erin Ballard, Kelley Ballard, Amy Ballard and Zoe Ballard.