By the hundreds, the mom of my school classmate pays patriotic tribute to our fallen heroes

I recently learned about something beautiful and patriotic: For years, the mother of a former Conroe High School classmate of mine has used her God-given artistic talents to create portraits of fallen soldiers that she has given free to the families of these American heroes.

Martha Wilcox, the mom of Celia Wilcox Blauser, has crafted over 600 of these portraits. I think that’s just extraordinary, and I believe everyone ought to know about her.

Mrs. Wilcox’s admirable efforts began when she became involved in a national project to paint portraits of soldiers who had given their lives in service, and they were displayed in a Washington exhibit called “Faces of the Fallen” from 2005 to 2007 and then given to the families. She has continued to honor these men and women on her own as the Fallen Soldiers Tribute, and paints portraits still today despite eye surgeries in recent years.

I also learned that Mrs. Wilcox, who is in her early 80s, has been a sculptor and presented a sculpture to President Ford while Celia and I were in high school when the president visited Conroe in April 1976 during the election campaign. The sculpture is in his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was raised.

Here’s Mrs. Wilcox’s website if you’d like to see her amazing gifts.

What a remarkable, giving, selfless, patriotic American. Thank you, Mrs. Wilcox! 

Artist Martha Wilcox presented a copy of this sculpture of a pioneer couple, titled “Proud Legacy,” to President Gerald Ford when he visited Conroe in April 1976 during his reelection campaign. This is the copy she still has, but the one she gave him is on display in the Gerald Ford Presidential Library and Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was raised.

2 thoughts on “By the hundreds, the mom of my school classmate pays patriotic tribute to our fallen heroes

    1. Hello there, Sandi and Bill! At first I wasn’t sure who Cinderella76 was, but I figured it out! 🙂 Thanks so much for writing. My family is fine and so far we’re OK at work. We’ve all been working from home for 9 weeks now at the DMN. Unfortunately, we had our salaries cut last month — mine was cut 8%, as was that of everyone making over $45,000. I have been looking for a new opportunity for the past several months and have had some interviews, but nothing has panned out yet. I turned 59 in February and would like to work until I’m 70 if possible, so I’d like to find something else, because I know we’ll have more layoffs and I just don’t have a good feeling about local journalism. There’s a job at The Washington Post that I may apply for. That would be the only newspaper I would consider going to and the only area Kay and I would consider moving our family to. Our kids will be 19 and 16 in a few months and have lots of “issues,” so we have much to focus on with them (depression and gender challenges, plus our son has high-functioning Asperger’s).

      I will let you know what happens as far as my job search. It is so kind of you to check on us. I hope you are both staying safe and healthy, and that your extended family are all safe from the virus as well. Please take care of yourselves, and be sure to wear your masks when you go out in public! And please give my best to Bill. Hope to see you all sometime when this blows over! 🙂


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