James Hill Wilson
March 6, 1923 — May 17, 2011
James Wilson, 88, of Woodland passed away May 17, 2011.
Jim was born at his parent’s farm near Lancaster and attended local schools there. He studied agriculture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, leaving just short of graduation to join the Navy when the U.S. entered World War II. He served as a naval aviator until 1946.
In 1945 he married Eleanor O’Boyle, also of Lancaster. After his service they returned to Lancaster, where he farmed first for his father and then on his own land in the Antelope Valley. He served on the Antelope Valley Unified School Board and was active in local affairs there until 1959, when, to pursue better farming opportunities, he moved to Woodland with Eleanor and his four children. He farmed on Road 93 until changing careers to work as a steam operating engineer at UC Davis. He served as a volunteer fireman in the Willow Oak and Plainfield fire departments and taught woodworking in area 4-H clubs.
Always a farmer at heart, he remained an avid gardener and pursued his hobby of fine woodworking for many years. He and Eleanor loved to dance to big band music with their dance club in Woodland. He moved to St. John’s Retirement Village in 2008, remaining there after Eleanor’s death later that year. Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he succumbed to cancer at age 88.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Eleanor (O’Boyle) Wilson, parents Asa Z. Wilson and Esther M. Wilson, and brothers David Wilson and William Wilson.
He is survived by his sisters Esther (Bruce) Lokke, Margie Early and Nancy Matthews; his brother Asa Calvin Wilson; his children Pamela Wilson of Davis, Linda Wilson (Peter Fearey) of Mendocino, James Wilson (Barbara) of Boise, Idaho, and Laura Wilson (Don Opheim) of Eden Prairie, Minn.; grandchildren Janice Candelario (Gregorio) of West Sacramento, John Thayer of Port Hueneme, Christopher Wilson of Fort Collins, Colo., Timothy Wilson (Amanda) of Boise, and Katherine Wilson of Jackson, Wyo.; great-grandchildren Sophia and David Candelario of West Sacramento; and many nieces and nephews.
Private interment will take place at Monument Hill Memorial Park in Woodland. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, May 23, at McNary’s Funeral Chapel, 458 College St. in Woodland.
Special thanks to the staff at St. John’s Retirement Village and Yolo Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to St. John’s Retirement Village, Yolo Hospice or to a charity of the donor’s choice.