Beth Wilcox Remembered During Festival of Trees

Live life. It is a simple mantra, but one that takes courage and positivity to achieve. Those bold enough to live are the ones who chase dreams, incredible adventures and know that no success is ever found without failure. They also know any war can be fought with a bottle of Boone’s Farm and Kid Rock.

Beth Wilcox was a person who knew these truths well. She lived life to the fullest, spread laughter and loved with fierce abandon. This year, her memory lives on during The United Way of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s Festival of Trees.

Decorated by Tracie Dilliner and Emily Wilcox, the “Live, Laugh, Love” tree was submitted in honor of Beth Wilcox. Beth lost her battle with melanoma on November 6, 2020.

“Friends and family who wanted to honor Beth bought and made ornaments that reminded them of her,” said best friend Tracie Dilliner. “That’s why it’s a hodgepodge, it’s because she touched the lives of so many.”

Tracie and Beth met in 1988 at Glenville State College. As randomly paired roommates, the two started a lifelong friendship. After college, they moved to Parkersburg and raised their families. Through thick and thin – marriages, divorces, the good and the bad – Tracie and Beth were always there for each other.

Beth (left) and Tracie (right) smile as they enjoy a day of sunshine and laughter.

As best friends, the two shared many memories. And, being friends with someone whose motto is to “live life,” there were many spur-of-the-moment trips, especially to the beach. Last year, Tracie and Beth traveled to Treasure Island in Florida to soak in the sun and float the days away.

“We would plan many trips, just to enjoy ourselves and our time together,” said Tracie. “We might meet for lunch on a Tuesday, only for me to go home and pack my bags for a trip we were leaving on for Friday. We even took a few cruises to see Kid Rock.”

Tracie and Beth pose with Kid Rock and the band during Kid Rock’s Chillin’ the Most Cruise.

Beth’s love for Kid Rock is matched to her love of Boone’s Farm wine. Every year on her birthday, the wine fairies would deliver Boone’s Farm to her porch, and she loved waking up to see what presents she would find at the door. When it was time to decorate the tree in Beth’s honor, the wine fairies delivered once more, but left ornaments, and a few bottles, that reminded them of their dear friend and loved one.

“Beth loved Stacie, and she would be proud and happy to know the tree is being auctioned for the United Way,” said Tracie. “She loved her friends and family without abandon. Beth would also be happy knowing the people she loved came together to make new memories.”

Wine bottles from Boone’s Farm.

Stacie Deccico, United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley executive director, was a close friend of Beth. “She was a person who, no matter where she was at, was herself,” said Stacie. “I don’t know anyone else who loved life more.”

As Beth enjoyed her human companions, she loved her Dachshund pup who was queen of the house. As a practical joke, a friend placed a holiday inflatable of a weiner dog in Beth’s yard. Instead of removing the unexpected Christmas decoration, Beth started collecting more. Last year, five Dachshunds in winter wear stood proudly in front of Beth’s home. All the while, Beth’s laughter carried on.

Beth and friends take a ride on the Dachshund with bottles of Boone’s Farm in hand.

According to Tracie, Beth had an infectious laugh and made friends with all who met her. Having great wit and one-liners, Beth to no surprise, carried her positivity until her battle lost with melanoma. Her doctors even became her friends, sharing conversations in the waiting room and texting warm thoughts.

Beth’s friends, Boone’s Farm, Kid Rock tracks and back porch living with her husband, children and dogs fueled her courage throughout the years. Her willingness to live life to the fullest is one that those around her have embraced and made their own mantras.

From left to right: Zachary Wilcox (son), William Willcox (husband), Beth Wilcox and Emily Wilcox (daughter)

“It is my hope that Beth’s tree makes people laugh and smile, just like she did,” said Tracie. “I want the recipient to be proud to live life, just like she was.”