A life of service and dedication
June 3, 2020
“Service is the measure of greatness; it always has been true; it is true today, and it always will be true, that he is greatest who does the most good.”
~ William Jennings Bryan
Being the son of veterans, I have great respect for those who feel the need to serve our country by joining the armed forces. I also have respect for those who come back from serving in the military to serve their country as their representative in government whether it be local, state or national.
Steve Wilcoxson was one of those that I respected.
Years after serving his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, Wilcoxson served the people of his community on Saratoga’s town council and he was prepared to continue that service, having filed to run in the upcoming primary election. Unfortunately, he passed away this weekend while floating the North Platte River.
I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Steve on several issues but I always felt that his heart was often in the right place. He understood that his role as a council member was to serve the people and he would take that role seriously, often bringing people’s concerns to the rest of the council. He wasn’t afraid to champion their causes.
Not only did Steve understand that he was supposed to serve the people, he was equally understanding of the press and our role in government. More than once, Steve’s name has appeared in articles for Saratoga Town Council, the planning commission and the airport board. Not all of them were complimentary but, nevertheless, he would come into the Sun office and express his appreciation for what the press did.
“Thank you for keeping us honest up there,” he said to me more than once.
In the time that Steve served on the council, there have been several editors and publishers for the Sun and his opinion on the press never changed. When I was a reporter and when I became the editor/publisher, he knew that he was more than welcome to come into the office and talk with me. One of our last conversations, he sat in my office for 30 minutes as we discussed many of the issues that are currently being faced by the town council.
One of the other reasons I respected Steve was for his dedication to veterans. For years, even up until this year, he never quit pushing for the construction of Tyler Pickett Memorial Park. It is unfortunate that, should the park ever be built, he won’t be around to see it. It is something that I believe that he deserved to see, as he was one of its most vocal supporters.
Though it’s been a few days now, I’m still processing that I won’t be seeing Steve again. I won’t see him walking around town with his dog while carrying the walking stick he used to defend against some of the braver town deer. I won’t see him in his muscle car during the July 4 parade. While I may expect it, I won’t be seeing him walk through the door of the Sun asking if I have a moment to talk.
I will most certainly miss Steve Wilcoxson and I’m sure there are many others both inside and outside this Valley who will as well. I believe that our community lost a true servant last week. May he rest in peace.