William Albert (Bert) Wilson
1933 - 2016
Share William's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
1933 ~ 2016
William Albert (Bert) Wilson of Provo passed away peacefully on Monday, April 25. He was 82 years old.
Bert was born in Tremonton, Utah on September 23, 1933 to loving parents, Bill and Lucile Wilson, and he spent his youth in Downey, Idaho.
As an LDS missionary in Finland, Bert met the love of his life, Hannele Blomqvist. After their missions, Hannele enrolled at BYU and the couple were married on May 31, 1957 in the Salt Lake LDS temple. They lived in Utah, Indiana, and Finland. Bert earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from BYU and a PhD in Folklore from Indiana University.
Bert earned international renown for his research in the areas of Finnish Folklore and Mormon Folklore. He served as Director of the Folklore Program at USU and was Chair of the English Department and Director of the Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU. In 1990, he was given BYU's highest honor for a faculty member when he was named the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.
Though he was a distinguished scholar, Bert never stopped being the hard-working Downey kid who cleared weeds and repaired railroad track with his father on the section gang for the Union Pacific Railroad and who helped run the small family farm. His scholarship celebrated the lives, faith and artistic expressions of ordinary people-his people. He was a witty, kind and gifted teacher who was much beloved by his students and colleagues.
Bert was a loving husband and father and faithful member of his church. He served in many ways, including as High Priests Group Leader, Stake High Councilor, and Bishop. He was a faithful home teacher. He had a strong testimony of Christ and His gospel throughout his life. Bert and Hannele served an LDS mission together in 2001-2002 in Finland. They were the proud parents of four children, sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at 3050 N. Mojave Ln. in Provo. A reception will be held from 6-8 on Friday evening and from 9:30-10:30 on Saturday morning.
A more detailed obituary can be found at www.uvfuneral.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Apr. 27, 2016.
06:00 - 08:00 PM
09:30 - 10:30 AM
Funeral service
11:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
May 2, 2016
This makes me terribly sad. I worked closely with Bert when we were department chairs. He was wise, witty, and humane. I loved Bert. He was one of the finest men I'll ever know.
Tom Plummer
April 29, 2016
It was a delight to work with Bert Wilson when he directed the Redd Center. And when he continued on the Redd Center board I loved seeing him once a year. He was such a kind man who loved to tell stories. I will miss him.
Jessie Embry
April 27, 2016
Bert was a mentor to me. What he taught me has shaped my thinking and my decision making in many ways over the years. He will be greatly missed. He was truly kind and interested in the success of others.
Stephen Van Orden
April 27, 2016
A great teacher, and a humane human.
April 27, 2016
He was a scholar who was so involved with the ordinary person; I remember his seminar at USU on the Foxfire projects very well. We've lost someone very valuable, but his works and words will live on.
Lucie Washburn
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences