Donald Wallace Wilson, 90, a long-time Tampa Bay resident, died late Oct. 3, in Cary, N.C., his daughters at his side.
He was born a blue-eyed blond beach boy to Fannie and Andrew Wilson on Nov. 3, 1923, in Long Beach, Calif. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard, patrolling the northern Pacific, and after WW II, he began his career at General Telephone Co. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Lois Jean Johnson. They spent their weekends with family and friends, surfing the Pacific and dancing the Balboa Shuffle to Big Band music up and down the southern California coast.
In 1961, his job brought him to Tampa, where he and Lois built one of the original homes in Carrollwood on Lake Carroll. It was at the old Carrollwood Golf Club on Waters Avenue that he discovered his new passion, golf. He became a legend as a long driver; putting was his nemesis.
Another job promotion moved his family from their beloved Carrollwood to Clearwater Beach. Eventually, he and Lois moved to the old East Bay Country Club in Largo to be closer to golf. He retired from GTE in 1984 as Florida general manager of customer service/operations. He and Lois spent their retirement years enjoying family and friends, and golfing around the United States, spending summers in Banner Elk, NC.
Don was a loving husband, “the Rock” to his family and had enough joy, humor and charisma to be the “coolest cat in town.”
He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, his son, Buckner Strock Wilson, his parents, and his three older brothers, John, Andrew and Gordon Wilson.
He is survived by his sister, Frances Wilson of Madison, Wisc.; his two daughters, Kimberly Rose (Stephen) of Morrisville, N.C., and Susan Lopez of Temple Terrace, Fl.; his grandchildren, Scott Rose (Anna) of Richmond, Va., Michael Rose of Morrisville, N.C., Tanya Lopez (Travis Tooke) of Gainesville, Fl., and Zack Lopez (Stacy) of Lutz, Fl.; and three great-grandchildren, Kindred Tooke-Lopez, Elijah Lopez and Micah Lopez.
A private service will be held Sat., Oct. 11, at 2 p.m. in Clearwater, Fl. Arrangements are being handled by Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Fl.
Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home 727-796-1992