James B. "Jim" Wilson, 89, Kansas City, Mo., passed away Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at the Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Kansas City. Jim was born Dec. 9, 1923, in Sabetha, Kan., to James Howard and Henrietta Marie (nee Gunn) Wilson who preceded him in death. Two brothers, Guy F. Wilson and Warren G. Wilson, two sisters, Marthella Wilson Greene and Bobbie F. Patterson- Sanchez, his son, James E. Wilson, and granddaughter, Maphelle Kenya Chamberlain, also preceded him in death. Jim worked for various railroad companies as a dining car waiter in his early adulthood. He later became a licensed Realtor and retired from OG Investments as a Real Estate Property Manager after 30 years of service. Jim served as Personnel Director for Jackson County, Mo., and Director of the Kansas City Housing Authority. Jim, a graduate of Park College, was a civic leader who was happy to work behind the scenes. He was engaged in multiple organizations, boards, and committees. Under the last five Kansas City mayors, he has had numerous appointments to boards and commissions. His most recent commission was in 2004 to the Kansas City Police Board of Commissioners, where he later served a term as president. Jim served as president of the Board of Governors for the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum, and he was a longtime member of Freedom, Inc. He was a 50-plus year member of the Worshipful Prince Grand Hall Lodge where he served as Worshipful Master of Pride of the West 53, Kansas jurisdiction, in 1953 and 1955. Jim also served on the boards of Truman Medical Center and Swope Community Builders. If you knew Jim, you knew he was humorous and private, yet warm, outgoing, personable and giving. He could best be described as "the salt of the earth," a good man. His favorite things outside his family were golf and his fruit orchards. Jim thought that every child should have the privilege of picking their own fruit. Before he fell ill, Jim was able to see his apple, cherry, and apricot trees in bloom along with his strawberry patch. He enjoyed sitting on the patio watching the fruits of his labor with his beloved dog, Cupcake. Jim adored and supported his wife throughout her career and personal achievements. He had great love for his children and grandchildren and shared many lifetime stories with them and others. As a resident of Sheraton Estates for 53 years, Jim would heartily wave at every neighbor passing through the neighborhood. Jim is survived by his wife of 61 years, Yvonne S. Wilson, Kansas City; two daughters, Berishia Wilson-Chamberlain, Minneapolis, Minn., and Alycia Nichols (Ramon), Lee's Summit, Mo.; brother, Nathan E. Wilson (Evna), Baton Rouge, La.; three granddaughters, Yvonne Chamberlain, Ebony Johnson, and Jaime Wilson, two grandsons, James C. Johnston and Justin Robert Chamberlain- Dupree, and five great grandchildren. A host of loving nieces, nephews, and other loving relatives and friends will also sadly miss him. Masonic Ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Watkins Heritage Chapel, 4000 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. Visitation will be 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, immediately followed by funeral services at Watkins Heritage Chapel. Entombment at Mount Olivet. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in Jim's name to the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum, 3700 Blue Pkwy., Kansas City, MO 64130 or to the Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care Center, 12000 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64145.
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Published by Kansas City Star on Jun. 16, 2013.
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