Charles "Don" Wilson Jr.
January 10, 1947 – January 17, 2021
Charles “Don” Wilson, Jr., 74, of Raytown, MO passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021 at his home after a long illness. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, January 22, at Floral Hills Cemetery. The family requests all attendees observe social distancing and wear face masks.
Don was born on January 10, 1947, in Kansas City, MO to Charles and Margaret Wilson. He graduated from Southeast High School, where he was a National Merit Finalist. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and Park College, before being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After completing his service, he attended Central Missouri State University, graduating with degrees in Political Science and English. Don went on to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, the same law school from which his father graduated. Don graduated with his Juris Doctor degree in 1976 and became a member of the Missouri Bar in 1976.
He married Dianne Ireland on March 10, 1984. They lived in and raised their children in Raytown. Don loved his family more than anything and built his life around his family. Don practiced family law in Raytown until he retired in 2018. He was an active community member and served on local committees and boards. He served on the board for REAP (Raytown Emergency Assistance Program), a local food bank, for over five years. Don loved sports and was a fan of the Kansas City Royals and KU Basketball. He enjoyed playing baseball and played baseball throughout his childhood and into college. It has been said that Don had an excellent pitching arm. He also coached his son Chris’ baseball teams for several years. Don was politically active and worked for the Joseph Teasdale campaign in the 1970s. He instilled a love of politics in all three of his children. Don’s daughter Lauren’s favorite memory with her dad is making dinner together on Friday nights and then watching their favorite political talk show. Don was also an excellent chess player and often played chess with his son Chris. He enjoyed watching old films; his favorite film was “North by Northwest.” Don was also fond of comedies and was a Three Stooges fan. Don loved traveling and taking annual road trips with his family, especially to national parks, where he enjoyed hiking, taking scenic drives, and watching wildlife. His favorite places were Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and the California coastline along the Pacific Coast Highway. He visited 47 of the 50 states during his travels.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Margaret Wilson, and his daughter, Danielle Roseberry, in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 36 years Dianne Wilson; daughter, Lauren (Mike) Arbucci; son, Christopher Wilson; sister, M. Sue (Barbara) Wilson, and grandson, Sam Roseberry.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to REAP, the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program: 9300 E. 75th Street Raytown, MO 64138, or to Care Beyond the Boulevard, an organization that provides health care on the streets via the Big Green Bus to individuals in Kansas City who are homeless.