William Franklin Wilson passed away on July 26, 2011, at his home in Medford, Ore. He was born March 15, 1934, in Siloam Springs, Ark., to William Marcellus Wilson and Lura Oliver Wilson, the fifth of six children.
Houston, Texas, became his home at an early age. Bill attended elementary school there and graduated from Lamar High School in 1952. His University of Houston education was interrupted to serve in the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Germany during the Cold War. He completed his University of Houston education, graduating cum laude with a bachelor of business administration degree in 1967.
Bill's career was in the food manufacturing and distribution industry, starting with General Foods Maxwell House Coffee Division in Houston. He moved to Frito Lay in Dallas, Texas, as an industrial engineer, working at a variety of locations, and he was a Frito Lay plant manager during the 1970's. His business journey took him to Washington D.C., New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, back to Texas, and finally to Oregon in 1994. Bill retired from The Bear Creek Corporation in 2001, after managing the Western Stores division distribution center.
Bill is known for his avid interest in World War II history. He loved books and had an extensive library. His children and grandchildren used the library and talked with him often for many school projects. Crossword puzzles were a daily activity for decades. His crossword reference library included many topics in a variety of languages. Football picks (DAS PICKAS) with family in several states, was a weekly activity for 22 football seasons. Bill was a salt water fishing enthusiast (Matagorda Bay, Texas), and loved pheasant hunting. He had a soft spot for cats, recently adopting two from the local shelter.
Bill enjoyed spending time with family and friends, making sure to take the time to act silly with his grandchildren, whom he adored. Everyone will sorely miss his Texan drawl, his love of spicy foods, and smoked BBQ. His quick wit, guidance, and charm will also be missed. The impact Bill had on family and friends will continue to live on in their hearts.
Bill is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters, Marcy Smith (Drew), of Sarasota, Fla.; and Cindy Darling (Carl), of Island Lake, Ill.; stepchildren, Nichole Hester (Darren), of Lakeville, Minn.; and Nathan Steiner (Nikki), of Richardson, Texas; grandchildren, Austin, Graham, Adrienne, Corrie, Hank and Charlie; sisters, Marcene, and Lola Mae; brothers, Tommy and John; and many nieces, nephews, and friends across the country. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Robert Wilson.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, July 31, 2011, at Hillcrest Memorial Park Chapel in Medford, Ore. Arrangements are by Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary. www.hillcrestmortuary.com.