William “Bill” Gerald Wilson

Long-time St. Helens resident Bill Wilson passed away Nov. 24, 2021 in Portland, at age 102.

Born in Joseph, Oregon in 1919, he was educated at Eastern Oregon College and University of Oregon. He served in the U.S Navy during World War II as a navigator in submarine reconnaissance planes over the English Channel.

He moved to St. Helens in 1961, where he remained until 2001. He served as Curriculum Director for St. Helens public schools for many years, spending his last few years before retirement teaching 4th grade. He was active in the Methodist Church, Eastern Star, and other activities such as Rivertown Follies and Shoestring Players.

After retirement he discovered a talent for basketmaking, becoming a master basket maker, helping to found basketry guilds, and teaching many classes.

In 2001 he moved to a retirement home in Portland, where he served on its Board of Directors, continued his basketry, and participated in choirs and drama clubs.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Lee Wilson.

He is survived by their two daughters, Claudia Boswell of Joseph, Oregon and Kristen Smith of Columbia City, Oregon; son Dennis Wilson of Hendersonville, Tennessee; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

To plant a tree in memory of William Wilson as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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