Reba’s Heroes: A Series Highlighting Our Wonderful Volunteers
Due to COVID 19, we had to cancel our annual volunteer luncheon that we hold to honor our amazing volunteers! In our effort to cover the many aspects of volunteering at Reba’s Ranch House we found a plethora of wonderful stories. In the coming months, we will cover the many ways to volunteer at Reba’s Ranch House. Read some of our 28 years worth of stories and see if you are visualizing yourself joining these beautiful souls giving their time and love to those who need it. Remember: Studies show that volunteers stay healthier, are more active, and live longer with more productive lives. We are here and would love to talk to you about volunteering and we always need a volunteer somewhere!
Thank you so much for reading our stories and going through this unexpected year holding us close to your heart. Thank you, Thank you! We are here and will continue to be here while we find our new normal!
May the Lord bless you, and hold you close to His heart.
Reba’s Ranch House Director Marilyn Bice
Watching the Winds of Change
As a boy growing up during the Great Depression, Bill Wilcox witnessed his mother open their door to people in distress. Sometimes she hired a passing worker for chores or gave them a meal. Bill learned that the winds of hard times would blow, but trouble ultimately passed. That was the analogy he shared with staff when he oversaw the construction of Reba’s Ranch House in 1992, donating two weathervanes to sit above the guest rooms.
Born in McKinney, Texas, in 1919, Bill was the youngest of eight children. His parents named him Wilson Edison Wilcox after the president who had taken them through the First World War and after an inventor. Setting type at his father’s newspaper, the Sherman Democrat, Bill developed a love for news and communications that lasted throughout his life.
After Pearl Harbor in 1941, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served onboard an escort carrier in the South Pacific Theatre as a communications officer until 1945. When he returned from the war, Bill purchased a radio station. He liked to keep abreast of current affairs and to always know from which way the winds were blowing.
After raising a family and his first wife passing in his early retirement years, Bill turned toward more service work in his community, modeling his mother’s example of reaching out to those in distress. One of his guiding principles was, “all we will ever have is what we give to others.”
Bill was engaged with his church and in numerous civic efforts, and was passionately dedicated to improving Texoma’s healthcare community. When the process began to raise funds for Reba’s Ranch House, he joined the effort. Bill oversaw the construction and added a special touch to the building: two weathervanes.
“He was a realistic optimist,” says his son, David Wilcox. “He saw quite a lot of history unfold in front of him. He knew things might get stormy, but eventually settle down.”
Bill made provisions to continue supporting Reba’s Ranch House with contributions left in his will.
“He felt like Reba’s Ranch House was a critical component of support for families,” David says. “He understood the need for Reba’s Ranch House, that families coming from rural Oklahoma or Texas to the hospital needed a place to stay for a while.”
When the new ranch house was built in 2010, Bill’s weathervanes were placed over the new guest wing as a reminder to families that the winds of change eventually shift, and difficult times will indeed pass.
See our video version of the Texoma Health Foundation 2020 Annual Report, including a tribute to Bill Wilcox.
Looking for a creative holiday gift idea?
If you are looking for a gift for someone who already has most of what they need, consider making a donation on their behalf to Reba’s Ranch House. It’s thoughtful, creative and it goes to a great cause. And now it’s so easy! We have streamlined our donation process, making it easier for you to quickly make a donation by credit card to Reba’s Ranch House.