James Wilson

Obituary of James W. Wilson

Coffeyville, KS - James Ward Wilson, M.D., 80, of Coffeyville, died Sunday (May 28, 2006) at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center. He was born April 5, 1926 at Ripley, Oklahoma to Hubert Cecil and Edna Lenore (Eaton) Wilson. He grew up near Ripley, OK, graduating from Ripley High School in 1944. Following high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. His duty stations included, Ft. Myers, FL, Pejote, TX, Great Bend, KS and Salina, KS, serving as a tail gunner on a B-29. He received the Expert Rifleman's Badge, Good Conduct medal and other medals being discharged as a Sergeant. He remained in the inactive reserve until 1949. On April 29, 1949 he married Mary E. Duck at Chandler, Oklahoma. Following his discharge he attended Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater, OK with studies in history and political science graduating in 1950. Following graduation he returned to active duty when the 45th Infantry Division was activated during the Korean Conflict. He attended Infantry Officer's School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and became a Second Lieutenant. He served with the 45th in Hokido, Japan (U.S. Army of Occupation) and in Korea he commanded an Infantry Company on the front lines. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Purple Heart among other medals. He returned to the States to complete his active duty service at Ft. Polk, LA. In 1954, he began his studies at the Oklahoma School of Medicine in Oklahoma City receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree 1958. He received the Onis Hazel Award for the outstanding doctor-patient relationship. He continued with one year rotating internship and one year surgery residency. He did family practice in Atoka, OK and later in Oklahoma City, OK. During this time, Dr. Wilson commanded the 45th Medical Battalion in Oklahoma City. Doctor Wilson returned to the Oklahoma School of Medicine to become a pathologist, doing two years of study at Oklahoma City University and completing the other two years at the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, KS. He is a Board certified pathologist and served as an assistant professor of pathology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, MO. Dr. Wilson was recruited to Coffeyville in 1971 to work as the first full time hospital pathologist and established a school for Laboratory technicians at Coffeyville Community College. He recruited physicians for Coffeyville and Independence, and served for many years as Montgomery County Coroner. In 1977 he became State Director of Health in Topeka and then reentered active military duty in 1979, serving at Ft. Riley, KS (Hospital Commander), the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (Director of all medical training for the National Guard Physicians nation wide), Ft. Sill, OK (Staff), and Ft. McPherson (Chief of Health Clinics). He retired in 1986 after 42 years of military service and returned to Coffeyville where he did private practice before retiring after 30 years of medical service. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Coffeyville, and served on many Boards including the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Dr. Wilson enjoyed flying his private plane, tutoring students of all ages, gardening, horticulture, and was an avid reader. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Mary of the home; five sons, Robert (Holly) of Huntsville, AL, David (Dr. Linda) of Portland, OR, Charles of Seattle, William and friend Roberta of Safford, AZ, and George (Deanda) Phoenix, AZ; one brother Richmond (Michelle) of Stillwater, OK; 10 grandchildren (two are currently serving on active duty); and two great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Robert Laddie Wilson and Howard Edwin Wilson. A memorial service is being planned for late June and will be announced by the David W. Barnes Funeral Home at a later date. Ashes will be intered at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery, Alexandria, VA. Friends may sign the register book at the David W. Barnes Funeral Home in Coffeyville. The family requests memorials to the Dr. James W. Wilson Medical Scholarship Fund care of Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Foundation or the charity of the Donor's Choice. David W. Barnes Funeral Home in Coffeyville is in charge of arrangements.
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