It is with sadness that the family announces that Don Wilson passed away on August 27, 2021 at the age of 86 at the Saint John Regional Hospital. He was the son of the late Lewis and Dorothy Wilson.
Don Wilson was a remarkable man! He didn’t seek fame or fortune, but lived life with creativity, curiosity, and adventure. He loved nature and all living things. As a boy, he had a pet crow, a wood turtle, a flying squirrel and often caught fireflies in a bottle that would light up his bedroom at night before releasing them back to the meadow the next day. He was very artistic and learned how to draw and paint at an early age. His lifetime passion for painting carried on into his last days. His ability to paint came easy and over the years he acquired a professional skill level in pictorialism. Don also was a good wood worker and wood carver. He built his own log cabin cutting all his own logs and constructed this building of antiquity and beauty on the shores of Kennebecasis River, using it as a summer cottage for most of his life.
Don studied forestry at UNB and spent long periods of time surveying for lumber companies in northern Alberta and Ontario before moving back to Saint John. While working in northern Ontario he narrowly survived a bear attack by getting to his rifle supplied by the employer for protection and shooting the bear at the last second. An act he hated, as he loved all animals.
Don Wilson was a curiously humble person who wanted to fly under the radar, and fly he did. His largest passion was travel. He traveled to over 30 countries, at times alone taking long excursions to explore the hard-to-get road places in these countries. He wanted to see how other societies lived and worked. He climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania twice, hiked long mountain trails from Kathmandu, Nepal, once with his early childhood friend Dennis McManus and next time alone. Don and Dennis canoed long stretches of the Stewart and Yukon rivers in western Canada. They canoed the length of the Allagash River in the State of Maine into the Saint John River a distance nearly 80 kilometers. They hiked through the Newfoundland and the Fundy Trail in New Brunswick long before hiking that trail was popular. Don was one of the first tourists to travel to China just after the country opened up tourism to the rest of the world in1980.
Professionally, Don worked over 30 years with the City of Saint John Planning Department. It was here he met his current wife, co-worker Annie Chan. They had so much in common. They both loved hiking and traveling both in Canada and internationally, mostly though Asia and Eastern Europe, and always with a camera in hand. Don and Annie shared a wonderful active life together for over twenty-five years, continuing this lifestyle right up to Don’s last days.
Don will be greatly missed by his wife, Annie Chan, his sisters June Northorp of Saint John and Lynn Denney (Tony Young) of Kentville, and brother James Wilson (Cathy Wright) of Hampton, his granddaughter Emily Corkum (daughter of Don’s son, Andrew Boyles) and her mother Debra Richard, his many nieces and nephews and his special friend Doug Vincent.
Interment will take place on September 16th at 3:00 pm in Fernhill Cemetery with family and friends. Those wishing to attend are invited to meet at the funeral home; the procession will depart at 2:55 p.m. A private celebration of Don’s life will be held in the spring of 2022.
Please consider planting a tree in memory of Don or making a donation to a charity of the donor’s choice.