Bruce Bryan WILSON Sr.

November 10, 1933June 30, 2019

Bruce B. Wilson, Sr. 1933-2019

Bruce B. Wilson, Sr., a solid and successful fixture in the commercial real estate business for 60 years, died Saturday, June 29, at home. He had been in declining health for several years; he was 85.

Bruce was born to Joseph S. Wilson and Helen Sommers Wilson in Great Neck, Long Island on November 10, 1933, but his father died when he was a boy and he grew up in Evanston, Illinois. After graduating from Evanston High School, his uncle Harry Sommers (Harry Sommers Chrysler-Plymouth) brought Bruce to Atlanta and to Emory University where he was on the swimming team and a member of Sigma Chi. After graduating, Bruce went into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany for two years.

After the army, he worked for Proctor & Gamble selling soap products learning the sales business. From there, he entered the real estate business at Adams Cates where he became sales manager, but it was not long before his entrepreneurial spirit connected him with Charlie Hull, Sr. and W. Watt Neal, Jr. and the trio became co-founders of Wilson, Hull & Neal Real Estate, LLC in 1972.

Over decades, Bruce has been involved in every phase of commercial real estate—from sales to leasing shopping center, industrial and office space properties, to investment sales and development. He was president of the Atlanta Board of Realtors and winner of the Alvin B. Cates Award for Outstanding Real Estate Transaction. Honoring his 45 years of Million Dollar Club membership—more than any other member—the Bruce B. Wilson Diamond Phoenix Award was named after him. He was its first recipient.

He closed sales and leases for many top companies in the United States and worked closely with Ted Turner on property for the Turner Broadcasting System (including the Progressive Club at 1050 Techwood Drive) and the CNN headquarter offices in Manhattan. He also leased property and found warehouses and office space for the S.P. Richards division of the Genuine Parts Company.

Bruce loved his work and the camaraderie with his colleagues and was generous with his time, sharing his experiences and expertise with those coming into the business. “Hard work builds success builds confidence,” he liked to say.

Bruce met Carolyn Osteen on a double-date in 1961 and were married a year later. They have been married 57 years. They raised their family in Atlanta and at their beach house in Sea Island. They enjoyed travel, especially trips to Canada with friends and canoe trips with his boys. Sailing trips with his buddies were always a highlight. He also served as general partner of the Atlanta Hawks for several years and enjoyed attending basketball games with friends and family.

Bruce had a genial personality, a good sense of humor, and was an engaging conversationalist—particularly on matters of real estate. He enjoyed reading, swimming and fishing. He belonged to the Piedmont Driving Club, the Nine O’ Clocks, and the Homosassa Fishing Club. He served, at one time, as president of the Atlanta Humane Society.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Carolyn Osteen Wilson, and their two children: Allison Wilson Reid (Erwin) and Bruce Bryan Wilson, Jr. of Atlanta. “Pop” is also survived by five grandchildren, including two sets of twins—Carolyn and Ruthie; Elizabeth; Lance and Clare—a nephew, Cheves Walling, Jr. of Rindge, New Hampshire; two cousins: Nancy Taylor of Locust Valley and Isabel Leib of Oyster Bay, both on Long Island, New York. He was predeceased by his parents; his son, Lance Joseph Wilson, who died at 17 in 1986; and his sister, Jane Walling.

The family is grateful to the Daniel Companion Nursing Agency—Scottie Stewart, Keisha Turner and Dejin Williams—and Carlyle Mills for their attentive care.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, at Arlington Memorial Park, 201 Mt. Vernon Highway, NW, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. A memorial service and reception to follow will take place that afternoon at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1328 Peachtree Street, NE, 30309. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to First Presbyterian Church ( or to the SHARE Military Initiative to assist brain-damaged soldiers, based out of the Shepherd Center Foundation, 2020 Peachtree Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 (


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Bruce Bryan WILSON Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cynthia Fox

July 8, 2019

Big Bruce - You were bigger than life! We will all miss you so much. Have fun in Heaven...

Jamie Morrison

July 2, 2019

I am very sorry about Mr. Wilson. God Bless you Allison and all of the Wilson family. I pray that as soon as possible your sadness will be replaced by wonderful memories of love and laughter. Keeping all of you in my prayers.

Warmest wishes,
Jamie Morrison

Arthur Steiner

July 1, 2019

Bruce was one beautiful human being. He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.
Rest In Peace BBW

Arthur Steiner