Donald Raymond Wilson
Donald Raymond Wilson, 92, died peacefully in his sleep on December 12, 2013. Don was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 26, 1921 to Raymond W. and Leah Stevens Wilson. He attended Kalamazoo Central High School, graduating in 1940. After a year at Kalamazoo College, he enrolled at Northwestern University
in their first Mechanical Engineering Co-op Program. He enlisted in the U.S. Army
in September 1942, was called to active duty in April of 1943, and served 2-1/2 years during World War II
. The majority of this service was in the European theater in the 133rd Combat Engineering Battalion of Patton's Third Army. He was discharged in early 1946. Prior to shipping out for active duty, Don married his lifelong pal Bobbie Hooth in Kalamazoo. April 28, 2014 would have marked their 70th wedding anniversary.
Don returned to Northwestern University to complete studies in Mechanical Engineering (having accumulated credits in M.E. during Army training) and received his BSME in the spring of 1947.
He started his career in the Engineering Department of the Kellogg Company in April 1947. He held numerous positions including Mechanical Engineer, Project Engineer, Plant Engineer and Chief Engineer. In November 1963 he was appointed Vice President-Worldwide Engineering, where he served until retiring in February 1981. Following his retirement from Kellogg, he was a consultant for W.K. Kellogg foundation on their new office building, and for Robert Miller on the construction of McCamly Plaza Hotel. He was a self-professed "Shop Man" who could fix anything or hand- make a replacement. He loved to design and build things ranging from small gadgets (to make life easier), go-karts, bridges, manufacturing plants and hotels. Since the early 1950s, he brought family and friends together for Wilson Corn Roasts. His commitment and dedication to his family have been an inspiration to us all.
Don was preceded in death by his parents Raymond (1966) and Leah (1968); sister Patricia (1962); and son James "Chip" (1972). He is survived by his wife Barbara "Bobbie"; sons David (Pam) of Havre, Montana; Richard (Lynn) of Dearborn Heights, Michigan; 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, with two more great-grandchildren expected in March 2014.
Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be Friday, December 20, 2013 from 2-4 and 6-8pm at the Richard Henry Funeral Home, 703 Capital Ave. SW, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015. A memorial Service will be held on Saturday December 21, 2013 at 11:00am at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 114 E. Minges Rd. Battle Creek, Michigan 49015. A family Committal service will be held Saturday at 2:30pm at the family site in Memorial Park Cemetery, Battle Creek. Memorials may be made in Don's name to St. Mark Lutheran Church, Leila Arboretum Society, Valparaiso University or the