Born on June 3, 1942 in Fort Worth, Texas, Claude Alan Wilson died Saturday, July 13, 2013, Raleigh, North Carolina after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Even as the disease robbed him of his ability to do things, he still retained his dignity and sense of humor. He was a kind, caring man whose generosity will be fondly remembered by many.
Claude completed three years at TCU where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and then transferred to the University of Texas where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was offered jobs by both NASA and Reynolds Aluminum. He chose Reynolds because it meant that he would be able to see the world. During his 35 years at Reynolds, he moved many times including to Hamburg, Germany, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He fished in the Orinoco River in Venezuela, and danced at Rio’s Carnival.
Claude loved hunting, fishing, cooking, and home repairs. He owned a bird dog that was better at eating the birds than pointing at them. His late wife of 47 years named his stuffed deer “Rudolph” that hung, proudly, on the wall in the living room. He firmly believed that whatever you caught, you ate. It made for some interesting family meals. A fair number of home repairs involved Great Stuff, a Hammer, or Duck Tape, in true Wilson Family Style.
Claude is survived by two children, David Alan Wilson of Tampa, Florida, and Haley Lynn Wilson Gray of Cary, North Carolina, as well as his sister Jeral Ann Tracy of Fort Worth, Texas. Claude is also survived by four fantastic grandchildren, Laura, Xena, David, and Ivan Gray, of Cary, North Carolina and numerous cousins. His beloved wife, Lorraine pre-deceased him in 2011.
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The Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 PM, on Sunday, July 21, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 221 Union Avenue in Cary. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Paul's Center for Hope and Healing, or to the North Carolina Zoo.