Roy J. Wilson

November 1, 1928June 5, 2018
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Roy James Wilson passed peacefully at University Hospital on June 5, 2018. Roy was born November 1, 1928 in Wyandotte, OK to Claud Leander and Lena Leota Crow Wilson. A Gathering of Friends will take place 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Memorial Funeral home with graveside service to follow at 11:00 a.m. in Memorial Park Cemetery.

He attended Wyandotte High School from 1944-47. He then attended Northwestern Oklahoma A&M and then Oklahoma A&M where he received his bachelor of science in Agriculture – Animal Husbandry in 1951.

Roy enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 31, 1951. He attained a military specialty of Water Supply Specialist. He was honorably discharged June 19, 1954 with a rank of Sergeant First Class. He returned to school at Oklahoma A&M where he obtained his Master of Science in Dairy Science in 1956. He then began work on his PhD at the University of Missouri from 1956-60 and worked as a graduate assistant in Dairy Production.

Roy married Christine Mae Blackwell June 31, 1959. They had no children of their own, but raised Christine’s 3 children; Sharon Kay Blackwell, Scott Anthony Blackwell and James Stone Blackwell. Roy went to work for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare as an Inspector of Food, Drugs and Cosmetics from 1960-1961. He worked for the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Missouri from 1961-1962 at which time the family moved to California and Oregon from 1962-1969 where he worked in private industry.

In 1969, he returned to Columbia, MO and returned to the Department of Ophthalmology (Mason Eye Institute). During his tenure as Ophthalmic Photographer, Roy brought in the Iowa Imaging Coding system and cataloged over 265,000 images. Roy proudly noted he took over 135,000 images of children. He also was one of the first photographers in the country to utilize flash fundus photography. He provided photos over the years for the Diabetic Complications Clinical Trial. Roy retired as Assistant Professor April 30.1993 to provide care for his wife Christine. Christine passed away September 24, 1994.

Roy enjoyed golf, hot air ballooning, fishing and traveling. He dearly loved his road trips to visit physicians who had been ophthalmology residents during his years at Mason Eye Institute and took great enjoyment in planning who he was going to visit along the way. He often van-camped as he crossed the country. Roy visited every continent including Antarctica and Patagonia.

Roy’s easy-going nature allowed him to make friends quickly and he did just that as he began traveling. These friendships led to trips together to new and amazing places. He participated in an Earthwatch elephant survey in Kenya in 2001. His travels took him to Mongolia, Russia and China via the Trans-Siberian railroad with Martin and Stefan from Austria and Tony from Australia. He later visited Tony in Australia and New Zealand, Tonga and sailing with Norah, Brazil and a trip down the Amazon with Paul, Argentina, Chili, Uruguay, Machu Pichu, Ireland, England and many other wonderful places. Each trip had many adventures which he documented with photos.

Roy will be missed by all including his adopted family of J.C and Gaye Baker of Columbia. Roy is survived by his step-daughter, Sharon Kay Mitchell (Ron) of Katy, TX. Roy was preceded in death by his parents, 4 brothers and sisters; Ruby, Lena Mae, Claud Elmer and Thomas; and step-sons Scott Anthony Blackwell and James Stone Blackwell.

To those of you who shared adventures with Roy over the years, thank you. Roy is now on the greatest adventure of all. He is leaving with his passport in his pocket. We wish him safe travels……


  • Roy is survived by his step-daughter, Sharon Kay Mitchell (Ron) of Katy, TX, and his adopted family of J.C and Gaye Baker of Columbia.


  • Gathering of Friends Saturday, June 16, 2018

Roy J. Wilson

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Rex Waid

June 14, 2018

Roy golfed with me, Ted Wills, and Earl Wilson for many years...sometimes just he and I would golf five days a week at the city's L A Nichols course. He had a very unusual golf swing...his hits were not usually too long...but they were consistently straight and toward the hole. He was one of the most even tempered individuals that I have ever known...his demeanor was always joyful and positive. It was a great honor to have known Roy and to enjoy his friendship and positive and upbeat attitude toward life...he will be sorely missed.

Renee Graham

June 14, 2018

Roy was so kind to us when my husband and I first got into ballooning. He was such a gracious gentleman.

Roy - May the winds welcome you with softness; may the sun bless you with its warm hands. May you fly so high and so well that God joins you in your laughter and sets you gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.


June 13, 2018

Roy was truly an inspiration as a dedicated Ophthalmic Photographer. I was always awed by his travels , especially making contact with past residents. I enjoyed our time together in ballooning education and flying. He was quick to friend folks and enjoyed spending time with them including my dad when he visited Columbia. Roy's passion for life won't be forgotten.


Roy in Antarctica


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