Wilbert Aaron WycliffOctober 30, 1918 ~ January 5, 2018 (age 99)
Wilbert Aaron Wycliff, devoted husband and father, soldier, educator and counselor, died Friday, January 5, 2018 at his daughter’s home in Port Allen, LA. He was 99 years old.
Mr. Wycliff was born in Dayton, TX, on October 30, 1918, the son of a blacksmith and a schoolteacher and a descendant of some of Liberty County’s earliest settlers. In 1942, Mr. Wycliff married Emily Broussard Wycliff, also a Dayton native, and together they reared nine children. Their marriage lasted 71 years, until Mrs. Wycliff’s death in 2013.
Mr. Wycliff served in the U.S. Army from 1941-1978, including both active duty and reserve service, retiring at the rank of major. He served in Italy during World War II as a member of the 92nd Division, the legendary Buffalo Division in the still-segregated Army of that time, and earned the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal with three Bronze Stars. After the war he earned his bachelor’s degree from the Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University). From 1954-1978, he worked as an instructor and administrator in the federal prison system which took his family to Ashland, KY, Denver, CO, Terre Haute, IN, Washington, D.C., Texarkana, TX, and Dallas, TX. He also taught at the high school and elementary levels before he and Emily retired to Dayton in 1981.
Mr. Wycliff was a deacon in the Catholic Church, working in parishes in Dallas, Houston, and Dayton, as well as ministering to inmates in the prison system. He also was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus, the Liberty County Historical Commission and a member of the Colbert-Rosenwald Corporation in Dayton.
Mr. Wycliff was preceded in death by his wife and by his oldest son, Francois, who died in 2010. He is survived by his five daughters, Karen Wycliff Robinson of Port Allen, LA; Ida Wycliff of Los Angeles, CA; Joy (William) Warren of Fort Worth, TX; Judith (Paul) Geller of Marina del Rey, CA; and Jean Wycliff of Houston, TX; three sons, Don (Pamela) Wycliff of South Bend, IN; Christopher (Patricia) Wycliff of Houston, TX; and Brian (Patricia) Wycliff of Houston, TX; also by 26 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.