Richard F. Wilson

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Richard F. Wilson
AIKEN, SC - Mr. Richard F. Wilson, 86, passed away Monday, March 6, 2017, at home surrounded by his devoted family. Richard and his wife had retired to Aiken in 2000 to be close to family.
Richard was born April 17, 1930 in San Diego, California. His late parents were Melvin Noble and Frances
(Shaffer) Wilson of San Diego, CA. Upon graduation from Point Loma High School, Richard obtained a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley and an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan. Richard also attended the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in Tennessee where he met his loving wife Marilyn Richesin.
Richard went on to have a distinguished career in the aerospace and nuclear industries having spent his early years at Rockwell International (CA). Notable achievements included the effort that led to the first launch and space operation of a nuclear reactor power supply and serving as chief program engineer for the liquid metal fast breeder program. Subsequent roles included technical lead at Offshore Power Systems (FL), and at GPU Nuclear (NJ) where he was the acting Director for the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor restart following the accident in 1979. Later, at the Tennessee Valley Authority he was responsible for all construction, start-up testing, and licensure activities for TVA nuclear power plants. He was a past chairman of the Babcock and Wilcox (B & W) nuclear reactor owners association. He was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the American Nuclear Society for over 50 years.
Richard was an avid saltwater fisherman and boating enthusiast. He enjoyed backpacking trips to the mountains, wood working and could fix almost anything. Travel abroad with his wife and spending time with his grandchildren were favorite pastimes in his later years.
Richard is survived by his wife, Marilyn, daughter Theresa Harley (John) of Aiken, daughter Sharon MacDonald (Dennis) of Randolph, NJ, and grandchildren John R. Harley, Kelly I. MacDonald and Thomas L. MacDonald. He is also survived by his older brother Melvin N. Wilson Jr., of Thousand Oaks, CA and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be private. Memorials may be directed to the .
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Shellhouse-Rivers Funeral Home, Inc. - Aiken
715 East Pine Log Road
Aiken, SC 29803
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Mar. 8, 2017
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