C. Phillip Wikoff, 74 of Wilmington, DE, passed away very suddenly on Sunday, August 20, 2017, while vacationing with his family in Hyde Park, New York.
He was born on May 12, 1943 to Charles Dale and Mable (Shelman) Wikoff in Sutton, Nebraska. He was raised in Brighton, Iowa, where he very early developed his passion for art. In 1965, he volunteered to serve his country in the army. During his four year tour, he was recruited in to the army security agency. He completed his BS degree from the University of Delaware, and became a highly respected American Realist painter. Mr. Wikoff's work has been commissioned by such companies and organizations as the DuPont Country Club, Bank of America, The American Dental Association, and The McDonald's LPGA Championship. Let us not forget the hundreds of individuals throughout the US and around the world who privately enjoy his works. He was a proud member of the Lincoln Club of Delaware. During his career he won many awards. He was proud to have been honored with the “Dr. James B. Tilton Award” (for distinguished service to the state of Delaware), and to have been chosen to exhibit in the renowned Society of Illustrators in New York City. He will be remembered for his magnificently historic landscapes and colourful dramatic still lifes.
He was not only a distinguished artist, but a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Deborah B. Wikoff; his son, Christopher and his wife, Maryellen Strain; and their two sons, Charles Phillip Wikoff II and William Strain Wikoff of Wilmington, DE. He is also survived by his daughter, Tracy and her husband, Mark Perales of Mesa, AZ. He has one brother, Larry D. Wikoff of Brighton, IA.
Phillip's family was the greatest joy of his life. His two grandsons were his very essence. He was there to help them begin and experience almost every day of their life. He photographed each milestone. He welcomed all of his friends as family. He so enjoyed engaging them in lively conversation, sharing the books he'd read, and helping whenever asked.
Each fall he looked forward to the upcoming college football season. In high school, he played football all four years for the Brighton Bears. Making lifelong friends, and recounting, to all, the night the Brighton defeated the “undefeated” team from Wayland.
Gardening was what centered him. With each new rose, hydrangia, peonia, hosta or fern, Phillip's garden grew bigger. He never tired of changing the shape of the garden to give each plant its best view. This summer his roses flourished, and enlivened his garden with brillance.
He was an avid reader. He wanted to know about everything, whether art, history, politics or gardening. He was never far from his camera. He photographed everything. Photography captured, for him, all that would be fleeting, each event in his family, clouds, sunsets and shadows.
History engaged Phillip the most. He put years into researching architecture to enhance the accuracy of the buildings in his paintings. When he wanted to begin his civil war paintings, he became a re-enactor. Never missing the opportunity to wander freely though any art museum or gallery. These experiences gave him the feeling he needed for each landscape, still life, battle scene, portrait, or camp gathering he would painstakingly put on canvas, or paper.
He loved to travel. In the military he was stationed on Okinawa where he gained experience in that culture. He visited throughout the US, Europe and Ireland. Phillip always looked for what would be his "next" painting with each new adventure.
Family and friends are invited to visit on Sunday, August 27, 2017 from 3:00 – 5:00pm at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00am on Monday, August 28, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Church, Cedar and Clayton Streets, Wilmington, DE 19805. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Phillip’s memory can be made to the Delaware Veterans Home, 100 Delaware Veterans Boulevard, Milford, DE 19963.
Charitable donations may be made to:
Delaware Veterans Home
100 Delaware Veterans Boulevard, Milford DE 19963