Charles Wilson
1941 - 2020
Charles "Chuck" Wilson
Feb 20, 1941-Dec 11, 2020
Charles Joseph Wilson passed away December 11, 2020 as a result of complications associated with pancreatic cancer. "Chuck" or "Bumper" as he was known by his childhood friends, was born in Portland, Oregon on February 20, 1941 to Capt. Joseph Theodore Wilson and Jean Corrine Wilson. He attended Grant High School in Portland where he excelled in athletics, academics and leadership. He was an infielder on the 1958 State Championship Baseball Team. In 1959 he was an All-Conference selection in basketball and baseball, the latter while leading the league in home runs. In 2011 he was inducted into the PIL Athletic Hall of Fame. He earned a B.S. in Political Science from Stanford University in 1963, followed by an MBA from Stanford Business School in 1966. He paid his way through Stanford as a door-to-door salesman for Saladmaster, a stainless-steel cookware company. Discovering his natural gift for sales, he quickly became a nationally recognized producer. The fundamentals he honed selling "pots and pans" served as the foundation for his entrepreneurial career. He and Carol Miller from Los Altos, California were married September 12, 1965. After business school, he moved to Dallas, Texas to become Campaign Chairman for James M. Collins' U.S. House run in the 3rd District. In 1969, he founded The Cambridge Companies. Initially involved in land syndication and development, including the Reunion and Hyatt Regency Hotel projects in downtown Dallas, Cambridge evolved into a highly diversified real estate investment and development firm. By 1986 Cambridge employed over 250 people, many of whom would go on to become influential figures in the DFW market for years to come. He followed members of the Cambridge family tree closely and took great pride in their success. He and Debbie Stanton from Dallas, Texas were married September 24, 1994. Over the decades, he satisfied his entrepreneurial spirit by pursuing a diverse portfolio of investments ranging from restaurants to oil and gas to mobile home parks to golf course development to specialty retail to international film distribution, just to name a few. But his true love was always real estate; a passion that would consume him until his final days. The last project he completed garnered numerous awards, including Master-Planned Community of the Year by the Dallas Builders Association and Best Community Amenity by the National Association of Home Builders. He was an active alumnus of Stanford University and served on the Stanford University Athletic Board. A devout Christian, he served 15 years on the Board of e3 Partners, a non-profit committed to making disciples and planting churches across the globe. Relishing the opportunity to evangelize the gospel of Christ, he logged extensive mission tours across remote areas of Africa and South America. Bringing people to Christ gave profound meaning to his life. During his extensive travels, he effortlessly connected with people from all walks of life, disarming them with his beaming smile, sense of humor and, on occasion, sleight of hand magic tricks. Chuck will forever be missed by his family, his former business associates and his diverse circle of friends. He will be remembered most not for his achievements but for the way he lived his life. He was a big hearted, hardworking, putt-grinding, God-fearing, pun-slinging, reasonably-priced-wine aficionado. He was a mentor to many. Aside from the Lord and his family, business was his life. Retirement was never an option. There were always more deals to be made. Above all else he was supremely grateful. Never taking for granted the opportunities presented by each new day. He loved, worked, laughed, played and prayed every single day like it was his last. Blessed with otherworldly enthusiasm, energy and drive, he somehow managed to balance it all. He is survived by his wife Debbie and their son Chase; his daughter and son-in-law Corrine and Joe Harn; his son and daughter-in-law Collin and Jessica Wilson; his son and daughter-in-law Carter and Alise Wilson and their children Virginia, Charlie and Georganna; and his former wife Carol Cooley. He is also survived by his sister Cathy McAuliffe as well as numerous nieces, nephews and their families. A celebration of Chuck's life will be held in 2021, as soon as Covid permits. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Chuck's memory to e3 Partners Ministry, 2001 W. Plano Pkwy #2600, Plano, Texas 75075.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

10 Entries
We are very saddened by this news that we just heard today. So sorry for your loss and ours . He was such a gentleman . We will miss him immensely .
Eliza and Adelmo Banchetti
March 25, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
I learned of Chucks passing from Bill Wakefield, recently.
I am shocked. I had no idea he was ill. I wish i had known.
He was a kind, happy person who fit in well with his classmates at Stanford. I will miss his presence at future Stanford gatherings. Our rank are thinning markedly of late and I treasure those memories that were created together so many years ago.
Tim Steele
Stanford Class of 1963
Tim Steele
January 5, 2021
My brother, Barry, was one of Bumper’s long time friends. I have memories of Bumper being at our house in Portland when I was a little girl. I’ve continued to hear wonderful things about him over the years. I know he will be missed. Sending condolences to his family.
Sue Koch ( Randall)
January 1, 2021
I went to grade school and high school with Bumper. Wonderful memories of an outstanding, kind, and considerate man Prayers to his family.
Toni Arena Cyphers
December 30, 2020
Remembering Chuck from high school days with fond memories playing poker every Friday night at my home on Alameda Terrace.
He was a great poker player and friend. All of us had fun together, joking around and playing cards. We enjoyed his company very much.
David Alhadeff
December 28, 2020
chuck was the greatest.
bob mcauliffe
December 28, 2020
Chuck and my late husband Gerry Spencer, 7/29/41-8/28/2020 met in grade school. He loved Chuck from that time on and they stayed in touch throughout their lives. Gerry shared many memories with me of their exploits as kids. My prayers are with Debbie and his family.
Rebecca Spencer
December 26, 2020
I first met Chuck at St. Marks during one of our swim workouts. We were both members of Dallas Aquatic Masters swim club. I feel that having known Chuck Wilson made me a better person. I used to tell him that I was looking forward to the day when we would do another swim workout together. Sadly that never happened, I wish to convey my condolences to all the family. I close with a heavy heart. Your good friend,
Al Dimiero
Al Dimiero
December 21, 2020
Chuck and his wife Carol and I (with my first hubby) probably ate every single meal together for many years when we were in our 20's. I adored Chuck, he was one of the funniest, sweetest, dearest, guys ever. A major character in the first act of my life, anyway. I have missed him for many years, his humor, and now grieve his loss.
Rebecca Collins
December 20, 2020
Chuck was my friend for over 60 years. We met up at almost all corners of the earth over this time, and always took up right where things left off. On balance I was “Way down” in my losings to him playing gin rummy in the style of Dallas. He always put family and friends at the top of his agenda.
What an incredible guy!
Harlan Bridenbaugh
December 20, 2020
Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results