John A. Wilson

John A. Wilson

Poughkeepsie - John "Jack" A. Wilson, 83, of Poughkeepsie, New York, passed away on October 23, 2012 surrounded by his family. He was the son of the late John Peddie Wilson and the late Mary Ann Catherine (Fraser) Wilson.

Jack was born November 11, 1928 in Irondequoit, New York, near the shore of Lake Ontario where he spent many happy hours playing with his beloved siblings James, Marjory, and Jeffery. During the summer of 1945 while working at a seasonal camp he met the woman who would later become his wife, Shirley Ann Pitts. After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as part of the occupation force in Japan from 1946 to 1948 on the island of Kyushu. His visit to the city of Nagasaki and the scenes of devastation wrought by the atomic bomb left a profound impression on him.

Upon his return home he made two major changes to his life. The first and most important was to marry Shirley on June 30, 1951, and the second was to graduate from Cornell University in 1952 with a B.S. from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations courtesy of the GI Bill. Jack and Shirley later lived in Chicago, Illinois; Great Neck, New York; and White Plains, New York; finally settling in Poughkeepsie in 1967 where he worked for Handel Group, Inc. until his retirement in 1994.

For his retirement Jack planned on playing copious rounds of golf but those plans were quashed when his oldest granddaughter Lindsey prevailed on him to coach her City of Poughkeepsie Little League Girls Softball Team. Thus began his second career as a softball coach to both Lindsey and his granddaughter Rebecca where he also assumed duties as Coordinator for the Girls Softball program. He stepped down as Coach and Coordinator after 14 years of service.

As much as Jack enjoyed his retirement activities he loved his large, loud Scottish-American family even more. He looked forward to family gatherings and the time to sit with his siblings, cousins, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to listen to their stories and to find out how they were doing. Very much the clan Patriarch, his attempts to corral the family for group photos always generated lots of laughter and comment, as well as the occasional sly revolt. Never daunted, he made sure that all of the members of his family knew that if they ever needed anything that he would be there to lend whatever assistance might be needed.

Jack is survived by his loving wife Shirley, and his sons Bruce C. Wilson and his wife Virginia Doxsey (Framingham, MA), Neil A. Wilson and his wife Rose Wilson (Poughkeepsie) and their daughters Lindsey and Rebecca, and Todd F. Wilson (Medford, OR) and his children Ashley and Christopher. Also surviving is his sister Marjory Schuster (Syracuse, NY); his brother-in-law James T. Pitts and his wife Joan Pitts (Rochester, NY); and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, and first, second, third and fourth cousins. Jack was predeceased by his brothers James Wilson and Jeffery Wilson.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Doyle Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York as follows: Gathering from 12:00 - 1:00 pm; Memorial from 1:00 - 1:30 pm; Post-memorial gathering from 1:30 - 2:00. Time will be available for those who wish to speak. For directions, please visit

In lieu of flowers the Family asks that donations be made in Jack's memory to The Wounded Warrior

Funeral Home

Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home
371 Hooker Ave Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9, 2012