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Howard G. Wilson


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Howard G. Wilson Obituary
February 4, 1922 - October 2, 2016 Howard Gene Wilson died at age 94 in Thousand Oaks, CA. He was born in Natoma, CA, the son of Clifford and Vera Wilson, grew up with his brother Richard in Roseville and Dixon, and graduated from Dixon High School. He loved aviation all his life, building and flying model airplanes as a youngster and then joining the Army Air Corps, where he learned to fly in Stearman biplanes. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he joined the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City in the 1940's, later becoming Vice President of Radar Systems Group at Hughes. In heading the subsequent technology exchange with General Motors he was Project Manager for the solar powered race vehicle Sunraycer, and this project was the impetus for GM's movement into electric vehicles. When asked later in life what made him a good manager he said, "I never thought I was any better than anyone else." Howard continued to enjoy flying, especially in his Great Lakes biplane. He married Miriam Geisendorfer in 1947, having met her in Chemistry class at Berkeley, and as he said at her funeral in 2015, "the chemistry was good." He built the family's first house completely by himself, across the street from his longtime friend Ed Rice, who was doing the same. Howard had a practical, optimistic outlook and life-long sense of humor. He had wide interests, was curious by nature, and believed he could learn anything if he put his mind to it. He is survived by his 5 devoted children, Claire Wilson, Paula Bradley, Geoffrey Wilson, Nicki Anderson and Marla Zayed, their spouses, 8 grandchildren and 7 nieces and nephews. Visitation will be at 10:00 with service at 11:00 and burial to follow on Monday, October 17, at Holy Cross Mortuary Chapel, 5835 W. Slauson Ave., Culver City. In lieu of flowers, Howard's family requests that donations be made to the Berkeley Engineering fund at http://engineering.berkeley.edu/connect/give/berkeley-engineering-fund.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 8 to Oct. 9, 2016
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