Note: WILCOX John Preston Wilcox, Ph.D., age 73, of Delaware, Ohio, died Wednesday, September 1, 2010, at Riverside Methodist Hospital. He was born in Columbus on August 18, 1937 to the late Donald K. and Virginia Dare (Hall) Wilcox. John was a graduate of Columbus North High School. He attended Ohio State University, receiving Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering in 1960 and returning to earn a Ph.D. in 1969. The OSU College of Engineering honored him as a "Distinguished Alumnus" in 1986. He spent his professional career with the Columbus Laboratories of the Battelle Memorial Institute, receiving several patents and worldwide recognition for projects as varied as front wheel drive concepts, an early prototype electric car, steel belts, golf club swinging machines, and tank tracks. He had a lifetime passion for all things mechanical, collecting and restoring old stationary gas engines and other antique machinery, and was a founding director of the Coolspring (PA) Power Museum. As Chief Cartographer for the Cave Research Foundation, he spearheaded the discovery and mapping of a connection between the Flint Ridge Cave system and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, now the longest cave in the world. John was featured in Roger Brucker's book, The Longest Cave, as well as a National Geographic TV special, Mysteries Underground, and the Guinness Book of World Records. Surviving are his wife of 33 years, Patricia P. Wilcox; her daughters, Sandy (George) Lawrence and Laura (Percy) Carter; and grandchildren, Ben, Alex, Harry, Isabelle, Sam, and Caleb; and first cousins, Anne (John) Foltz, Fred (Mildred) Hoskins, and Suzanne (Robert) Merkle. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at RUTHERFORD-CORBIN FUNERAL HOME, 515 High Street, Worthington 43085, (614) 885-4006. Rev. Mary Holm officiating. Family will receive friends starting at 12:30 p.m. Friends may consider memorial gifts to: Cave Research Foundation, 4700 Amberwood Dr., Dayton, OH 45424 or to Coolspring Power Museum, Box 19, Coolspring, PA 15730. --- The Columbus Dispatch
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