Donald Wilson, 82, of Dowagiac

Published 10:29 am Monday, January 6, 2014

May 15, 1931 — Jan. 1, 2014

Donald K. Wilson, 82, of Dowagiac, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at his daughter’s residence surrounded by his family.01-06Wilson

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, Mich., with Pastor Ellen Laan officiating. A gathering of family and friends will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Clark Chapel. A luncheon will follow the Wednesday celebration of life service at the Dowagiac Moose Club.

Donald was born May 15, 1931, in Dowagiac to his parents Raymond and Margaret (Wolf) Wilson. He was a lifelong resident of Dowagiac, having graduated from Dowagiac High School in 1949. He earned his teaching certificate from County Normal and began his career in education. On July 25, 1952, he married the love of his life, Marylin Smith. Together they began building their family of five children, as family was everything to both of them. Don was also serving his country in the National Guard at that time.

Donald started his teaching career at the Bainbridge Center School while attending Western Michigan University to earn his BA in Education. He moved on to share his passion for English, literature and the written word with the students in the Watervliet public school system. Mr. Wilson rose through the ranks as teacher, athletic director, assistant principal and completed his career in education as the principal of the Jr. High. During the summer months, he used his creative talents as a house painter. He had an unbridled passion for sports and that was evident as he was the president of the Little League Boys Baseball as well as a coach. He was active with men’s softball, and was the sports writer for the Dowagiac Daily News in 1976. Donald was a dedicated fan of the Detroit Tigers, Notre Dame and the Dowagiac Chieftains , where he was a booster of the Dowagiac Sports and Band. He was a member of the Moose and Lions Clubs, Civitan, and a board member of the Cass Council on Aging. He also never missed a game or event that his children or grandchildren participated in.

He lost his wife Marylin Wilson in 1995. In 1999, he married the former Frances Servis, who also preceded him in death in 2011.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Lynne Gaylor of Dowagiac, Lee Ann (Ed) Toy of Dowagiac, Thomas (Linda) Wilson of Elkhart, Ind., Todd (Robin) Wilson of Dowagiac and Angel Sundman of Lansing, Mich.; his 11 grandchildren, Randy, Terri, Jackie, Robbi, Bradley, Matthew, Aaron, Adam, Brandon, Kendra, and Kayleigh; eight great-grandchildren, Miranda, Logan, Kira, Nicholas, David, Colton, Bishop and Able; and one great-great-grandchild, Logan. He also had one brother. James (Shelby) Wilson of Kalamazoo, Mich.; and three sisters, Barbara Rank of Kingsford, Mich., Carolyn Taylor of Niles, Mich., and Ruth (Jim) Pfau of Oak Island, N.C.

He was preceded in death by his parents; both of his wives; two sisters, Joyce Krenn and Beverly Wilson; and two of his sons-in-law, Paul Gaylor and David Sundman. Don had two special angels here on Earth that added great value to his final days, having fed him body and soul. The Wilson family would like to thank Judy Johnson and Ellen Laan on his behalf, he adored you both!

Memorials may be made to the Dowagiac Moose or the Dowagiac Lions Clubs in his name. Please take the opportunity to sign his guestbook and share a memory of Donald at