Donald James Wilson
October 18, 1935 – December 27, 2019
Donald James Wilson passed away from heart failure on the afternoon of Friday, December 27, 2019. Don was a proud BOI, born on the island of Galveston, the only son of Joseph E. and Bernice Moore Wilson, on October 18, 1935. He was baptized at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, and attended St. Patrick’s school through the fourth grade, starting in 1941. During those years, he was trained in tap dancing at Miss Melon’s School of Dance and performed with Galveston’s Badgett quads at Galveston’s Orphan Home and other venues.
Don lived with his parents and maternal great grandmother at 3617 Ave H (Ball) during his early years. His great grandparents, Albert and Katherine Moore, had emigrated from Ireland to New Orleans to Galveston around 1880, and were among the founding members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. They survived the Great Storm of 1900.
Don and his parents moved to Beaumont in 1946, after World War II. He graduated from St. Anthony High School in 1953. He was a graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, with a BBA in Accounting and a Certified Public Accountant (retired 2007). At Lamar, he was a member of the Kollege Klub in 1953 and later Sigma Nu Fraternity, Zeta Psi number 108. He was a 40-year member of the AICPA and the TSCPA. Having served in the Texas National Guard (36th Infantry Division) from 1953 thru 1961, Don had an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army. He had one year in the Inactive Army Reserve. He had no overseas duty. He shot Expert w/M1 Garand Rifle and with M2 Carbine. He was staff sergeant Acting FDC officer in 81 MM Mortar Platoon.
While in college Don worked part time for M. R. Geisendorff, Public Accountant, located in the historic Mildred Building at Calder and Mariposa in Beaumont. Don’s dad was a pharmacist and manager of the Thames Drug Store on the corner of that same office building.
After graduating from Lamar he moved to Houston and, in 1962 while working at Trunkline Gas Company, Don met and married the love of his life and partner of 57 years, Dianne Summerlin Wilson, originally from Shreveport, LA. To their great disappointment, they had no children. Following his time at Trunkline, Don worked at Oil Center Tool and moved on to Dresser Industries where he spent 15 years in accounting/auditing/controller positions. He was fortunate to have traveled worldwide during those years, including London, Singapore, Tokyo, Bombay, Jakarta, Sydney and Perth, Western Australia, and many places in between.
Don was a NRA Life Member, as well as belonging to the old Confederate Air Force. He was a member of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, with a lifelong passion for wooden boats and the old Evinrude outboards from the Fifties. He was a classic car buff and owned a ’57 Chevy exactly like the one he had as a youth.
He was fiercely independent and a firm believer in the Protestant Work Ethic and the Founding Fathers’ spirit of self-reliance and profit-seeking enterprise.
His memory will be cherished always by his loving wife Dianne; his cousin and Godchild, Denese Midkiff Aymes of Houston; her daughter, Megan, and husband, Brock Birkenfeld and their children, Sawyer, Nash, Jones and Benjamin, all of Canyon, TX; cousin, Douglas Midkiff of Galveston, TX; and various Wilson/MacDonald cousins and other relatives in Green Cove Springs and Jacksonville, FL. He will be dearly missed by his two treasured canine pals, Petey and Kismet.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.
- Visitation Friday, January 3, 2020
- Funeral Service Friday, January 3, 2020
- Committal Service Friday, January 3, 2020