On Friday, April 9th 2021, Bill Wilson, loving husband and father of three children, passed away at the age of 85.
William Bradley Wilson Jr was born on September 18, 1935 in Portland Oregon to William Bradley and Ethelyn Wilson. He spent his youth growing up with his best friend and brother, Don, living in Portland and Sandy, Oregon as well as El Centro, California and Coos Bay, Oregon. He had a love affair that spanned 65 years with his wife Judith (Fitzwalter) whom he met in Coos Bay, Oregon while attending high school there and graduated ahead of her from Marshfield high school in 1953.
While growing up, Bill had many interests. He had a love of fishing that he shared with his family. They had many camping trips together, primarily throughout the central Oregon area; especially Crescent Lake which he went on to share with his wife and children and has to this day remained a family tradition.
He was a Seabee Scout. He was a member of DeMolay, which develops young men between the ages of 9 and 21 into better leaders of character.
His first job was as a gas station attendant for Standard Oil. We fondly remember the story he would tell of our mother coming through the gas station while he was on duty, on a date with another boy. He said while washing the windshield, he stuck his tongue out at her as she was sitting in the front seat when her date was distracted.
He was also a bakers apprentice in Coos Bay and had always threatened our family with baking a pie (but never did probably because everyone knows our mother is ‘The Queen of Pies’).
He had a newspaper bicycle delivery route as well, so you see his work ethic developed early and he took a great deal of pride in a job well done.
Bill was accepted at University or Oregon and majored in history and business, graduating in 1957. He did his college thesis on WW1 and WW11and had an infinite knowledge of that time period. (He almost became a college history professor).
He married Judy in 1956 and had a daughter, Teresa while attending college in Eugene.
After college, he was employed with the Standard Oil Company of California for 25 years, first starting out as a bulk plant warehouse employee in Longview, Washington. During that time, he and Judy made their first good friends in Longview, such as the Wilcox’s and Flagel’s. Standard Oil later relocated him to Medford, OR where they had 2 more children, Katherine and Jeffrey. Once again, he was relocated to Portland, Oregon, then onto Concord, California, and then back to Portland, Oregon until finally settling in Longview, Washington. While working his way up the cooperate ladder, he obtained a Master’s degree in business from Stanford University.
One of his personal accomplishes he was proud of was of planning and presiding as chairman over a presentation honoring 3000 employees from the retail side of Standard Oil at the Rose Garden in Portland. He made many speeches throughout his life with such professional grace injected with humor so you would never know he had a fear of public speaking.
He was diagnosed with advanced melanoma cancer in 1970. After surviving that, he saw an opportunity to acquire the Standard Oil Bulk Plant in Longview, WA as an independent contractor and moved his family to Longview, WA in 1971. He created Wilson Oil Inc. and later merged with Wilcox and Flegal, reuniting in business with his good friends the Wilcox’s. During his later years in business, he had fundamental part in the development of the PNE Corp. which was founded in 1989.
He served on the board of directors for many years and still is an honorary board member of George Fox University. He was an advisor to Dedicated Fuels Inc. of North Bend, Oregon. He was philanthropic throughout his life with many charitable organizations.
He was a member of Rose Valley friends Church where many remember him as a greeter as they walked through the doors to worship. He also was a member of Valley Christian Fellowship. He was a quiet private man who has a deep love of his Father and Savior Jesus Christ.
He was a fisherman through and through. This is what he loved to do most. He was an accomplished captain of his vessels and was passionate about being on the water. He had spent some summer months commercial fishing and filling in as a charter boat captain doing most of his fishing off the Oregon Coast for salmon and tuna as well as crabbing. He had even performed a rescue at sea while tuning fishing with his daughter and friend 30 miles off the Coos Bay coast. He towed the boat and its occupants all the way back to shore, getting it across the bar and delivered to the moorage dock safe and sound.
In 2006, he was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. He fought long and hard and as of 2016 the cancer went into a sleeping mode for good, which we believe to have been a divine healing.
He had a love of black Labrador dogs and had 4 labs during his lifetime. And being a man of routine, he used the same name for 2 of them. He was most at home in the mountains with his dog, fishing and hiking.
He cared for and was proud of his family. He was descent and kept his word. He had a very high level of integrity and work ethic. He was bright without being arrogant. He was considered to be a brave and soft spoken person. He was private expressing himself through his writings. He was a gentle man who treated others with respect and wasn’t condescending. He shared his wisdom with those who sought it. He was philanthropic. He had surprising sense of humor (for instance naming his boat the Judith Lynneth, much to the horror of our mother.) He led by example.
Most of all he had strong faith in Jesus Christ and is has now joined His Father in Heaven.
“Well done faithful servant”.