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Roy M. Wilbur

KSAL StaffMay 11, 2018

Roy M. Wilbur, 87, of Salina passed away peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday morning, May 8th, 2018, at Salina Presbyterian Manor. He had an extended fight with cancer. He was born and raised the second son of Oscar M. and Mary T. Wilbur and appeared into this world on October 30th, 1930. Roy had four brothers— Robert D. Wilbur, Raymond H. Wilbur, Richard W. Wilbur, and Roger H. Wilbur. They were the Wilbur boys, and all of them went on to have successful lives, in leadership, management, and business. Roy was preceded in death by his parents, and two of his brothers, Robert and Roger.

Roy graduated from Salina High School in 1948, and the University of Kansas in 1952, with a degree in business. Roy and his future wife, V. Suzanne Beringer, met during their senior year of college, when Roy was President of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and Suzanne was a member of Chi Omega sorority.

Roy enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Air Force student pilot following his graduation and began his duty in August, 1952. During those times, Roy was not allowed to be married as a student pilot, a program that would last 13 months. The following Christmas, Roy proposed to Suzanne, and she accepted. Their wedding was September 20th, 1953 after Roy’s completion of pilot training, and his commission as a U.S.A.F. 2nd Lieutenant. They were married at the Garden City Congregational Church.

After marriage, Roy was assigned to San Marcos, Texas, as a flight instructor—teaching Army officers to be pilots. During that time, on August 11th, 1954, Thomas Roy Wilbur was born, at the San Marcos Air Force Base. Roy was later commissioned as a 1st Lt.

On completion of his duty in 1956, Roy accepted a position as Contract Administrator for Beech Aircraft, in Wichita, Kansas, dealing with price proposals and negotiations for the firm. On June 2nd, 1958, a second son was born, Paul B. Wilbur.

In June of 1961, Roy and Suzanne moved the family to Salina, to become a partner in his father’s construction business, and the couple personally built the home at 529 Aullwood by themselves, in a new area in East Salina. In 1966, Roy started his own company, Wilbur Construction, Inc., and moved into general construction, property development, paving and larger concrete construction projects.

Roy and his family joined 1st Methodist Church in Salina and became integrally involved with United Methodist church projects and Youthville. Roy coordinated the first Youthville home in Salina, and later become the Chairman of the Board of Youthville, nationally for ten years. Roy served on local Boards including Asbury Hospital, Kansas Wesleyan University, Presbyterian Manor, Hospice of Salina, and was a founding director of BANK VI. He enjoyed his many years as a member of the Salina Rotary Club and was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.

Roy was an amazing Grandpa to Tom’s children, Brock Wilbur, and Brooke Wilbur (who both reside in Kansas City), as well as Paul’s children, Kristen Brennan, (Portland)—Jason Wilbur and Annaliese Wilbur (Detroit) and two special great-grandchildren, Ava Brennan, and Carson Wilbur. He was also very supportive of his step-grandsons— Grant Sanders, and Neil Sanders—as well as Tom’s wife, Marlis, and Paul’s wife, Ann.

Roy and Suzanne gained another son in Berin Lacevic, who was extracted from the war in Sarajevo, in 1993, after the war took Berin’s parents from him. Berin was an incredible addition to the couple’s life, well after Tom and Paul were grown—a bond that never changed. Soon after, Roy and Suzanne also helped foster the relocation of Berin’s sister, Dee Lacevic McKee; two cousins, Adnan and Amer Avdic from Bosnia; and Iryna Shvydka, from Ukraine. He loved them all dearly and considered them all to be part of the Wilbur family, and they loved him back.

There will be a public viewing at the Ryan Mortuary from 5 to 7 P.M. on Monday, May 14th. A celebration of life service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 901 East Neal, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15th, followed by a reception in the Family Center at the church. Following time with friends and some food, the family will proceed to Roselawn Cemetery, where Roy will be laid to rest.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Roy’s name may be sent to Hospice of Salina, or to Salina Presbyterian Manor.

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