August 23, 1921 - April 7, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Ralph Wilson was the older of two sons of Forrest Wilson and Irene Amonette Wilson. His brother, Ramon Forrest Wilson, preceded him in death in 2012. He grew up in Nashville (Arkansas) and attended both Riverside Military Academy and Nashville High School, where he graduated in 1939. He entered the University of Arkansas in 1939 and pledged Kappa Sigma Fraternity. When the US entered World War II, Ralph joined the Army and was trained in Hondo, Texas as a Navigator with the Army Air Corps. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served in the 390th Bombardment Group out of Framlingham, England, flying aboard the B-17 "Spot Remover". He flew 25 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and two Presidential Citations. After the war he attended Tulane University, where he finished his undergraduate degree and attended medical school. He belonged to the Nu Sigma Nu Medical Honor society and was Phi Beta Kappa. He served an internship, then residency at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. He served on the staffs of hospitals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Ft. Smith, Arkansas, before joining the radiology group of St. Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma City in 1966 where he practiced until retiring in the late 1990s. Ralph was married to Rosemary Girnus of Spokane, Washington and with her had nine children: Forrest, Fred, Emilie, Frances, Jimmy, Roberta, Patrick, Loretta and Tony. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Emilie.In 1966, he was married to Joyce Karber (nee Fincher) of Amity Arkansas, the mother of John, Stan, Phil, Greg and Kent Karber. Joyce Wilson passed away in 2011 and was preceded in death by her sons John and Greg.Ralph and Joyce travelled the world extensively, including stints on the Linblad Explorer, where Ralph served as the ship's physician. He was an avid scuba diver, photographer and stamp collector. He loved sailing and was an early member and later Commandant of the Caney Creek Yacht Club at Lake Texoma, sailing a boat titled "Joie de Vivre", the Joy of Life. The family wishes to thank Shirley Miller of Oklahoma City and many others for their care and attention to Ralph during his last two years.
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Published in The Oklahoman on Apr. 27, 2014