Richard Roscoe Wilford, CCAS MA ’46, retired public information officer and beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away on Dec. 11, 2012 in Carmichael, CA. Born in Beloit, WI, Wilford attended Beloit schools and graduated from Beloit College with a major in political science and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a member of Signal Intelligence, and, as a Technical Sergeant, was deployed to England, working with the Royal Air Force, studying and intercepting German codes, and then serving with Patton’s army in North Africa and Italy, again tracking and deciphering German troop and aircraft movements. Following the war’s end, he earned an MA in Spanish Language & Literature from GW and entered the U.S. Foreign Service.
In the Foreign Service, Wilford was an embassy secretary in Madrid, Spain, and a Vice-Consul in Naples and Bari, Italy, during which time he was able to use his foreign languages, including repatriating Germans from Spain to Germany for the Nuremburg Trials. After seven years, he resigned from the Foreign Service, returning to the U.S. and began his long career in public information, first for Forest Lawn Memorial Park, then for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and finally for the State of California, with the water project and alcohol rehabilitation programs, from which he retired in 1983.
Wilford was predeceased by his second wife, Clarice Bjorneby Dusel Wilford. Surviving children are (with first wife, Frances Puckett Wilbur) Marguerite (James) Sorenson, Geoffrey Wilford, and Katharine Edmonson and his grandchildren Jane (Chris) Herthel, Jill (Matt) Hooven, Jessica (Justin) Fraga, Tracie (Chris) Fast, and Corey (Melissa) Wilford and seven great-grandchildren. Surviving stepchildren are Julianne (Ed) Smith, John (Patti) Dusel, James Dusel, Christine (Anthony) Williams, and Mark (Julie) Dusel. Stepgrandchildren are April (Jim) Woods, Meredith (Andrew) Hawkins, Ryan Young, C. Kirby (Angela) Dusel, Nicole (Paul) Dorway, Matthew (Jessica) Dusel, and eleven great-grandchildren.