Obituary of Leaburn Wilcox
Leaburn (Marrs) Wilcox passed away on February 16th after a lengthy bout with lung cancer. She was born on December 8, 1940 in Newhall, West Virginia to Dewey and Athlene Marrs. Leaburn’s father was an underground coal miner who left West Virginia in the early 1950’s upon the advent of strip mining, something he felt was wrong because of its impact on nature, with a view to finding underground mining work in a place he could raise his family. Dewey traveled to Oakfield, NY to mine gypsum for USG where he built a home for his family and lived until his death in 1987. Leaburn was the eldest of five sisters, all of whom attended Oakfield Central School and raised families of their own in Western New York.
Leaburn was married to Louis Assenato of Rochester, NY in 1962, father of four of Leaburn’s seven children, Michael, Mark, Mary and Paula Assenato. Several years after divorcing her first husband, Leaburn married her second husband, John P. Wilcox of Batavia who had two sons from a previous marriage, John P. Wilcox Jr. and James D. Wilcox. In 1973, Leaburn and John had a son, Shawn Wilcox who now resides with his family in Montana.
Leaburn was a committed Mother who made it her mission to provide the best life she could for her children; not an easy task on a single NYS Trooper’s Salary in the 1970’s. John Wilcox retired from the NYS Police in 1977 after a high-speed pursuit and crash that shattered one of his legs. John and Leaburn, or “Lea” as she was known to friends and family started a small locksmith business in 1978 called, Genesee Locksmiths. The Wilcoxes ran this business in several locations in Batavia until John passed away from cancer in 2006 and the business was closed. Mrs. Wilcox lived in Batavia for the remainder of her life.
John and Leaburn were members of St. James Episcopal Church and were both actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America serving as Troop Master and Den Mother, respectively. Her hobbies included fishing, cooking, baking and spending time with her family.
Friends are invited to call on Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia where her services will follow at 5 p.m. She will be laid to rest in Reed Cemetery, Oakfield. Please consider memorials in her name to the American Cancer Society, 101 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst, New York 14228.