Bobby Gray Wilson

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Bobby Gray Wilson

Also Known As: "Bob Wilson"
Birthplace: Timberlake, Person County, North Carolina
Death: May 03, 2012 (79)
Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia (Lymphoma)
Place of Burial: Ashes buried around a red oak tree near Azalea Drive, Afton, Virgnia
Immediate Family:

Son of William Alfred Wilson and Cara Blye Wilson
Husband of Linda Caroline Wilson
Father of Pam Wilson (may be slow to respond); Cara Chandler (Dr.) Wilson and Private User
Brother of W. A. [Bill] Wilson, Jr.; Ray Chandler Wilson; Donald Wilson and David Edwin Wilson

Managed by: Pam Wilson (may be slow to respond)
Last Updated:

About Bobby Gray Wilson

What to say about Bob Wilson? He was one of a kind. All those who knew him were touched by his unyielding brilliance as well as by his wry and mischievous wit (and his fondness for argumentation). He was a man devoted to his wife, daughters and grandchildren, impassioned about music, and most of all, a philosopher who championed logic and reason.

Bobby Gray Wilson born in 1932, held a math degree from Wofford College and did graduate work at the Univ. of Tennessee. He taught math classes at both institutions before moving into the world of corporate research. After working for General Electric in Advanced Engineering in Lynchburg, Virginia (home of GE's land mobile radio division), in the 1960s, he became a research manager for the Institute of Textile Technology in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1970 until his retirement. Married to Linda Arledge of Tryon, N.C., they raised three daughters, all of whom earned their doctorates thanks to their father's emphasis on the importance of higher education.

Bob was passionate about music, especially the work of Franz Liszt and Amadeus Mozart. He began taking piano lessons as a boy and became the accompanist for the HS Glee Club by the time he was a teenager, under the direction of his music teacher Louise Walker Wilson (who was also his older sister-in-law). In the 1970s, he began taking lessons on the pipe organ at the First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro, Virginia with Ed Zimmerman, and he enjoyed many years of regular organ practice and occasional playing for weddings.

Always healthy and rarely sick, he discovered he had a rare leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, in his mid-70s. After one round of chemo, he went into remission for two years, during which time he took great pleasure in walking 3 miles a day around the mountaintop on Afton near where they lived. But in 2011 the leukemia returned, accompanied by lymphoma. He underwent aggressive chemo as well as radiation treatment before his passing in early May, 2012, at home in hospice care in Charlottesville, with his wife and three daughters by his side for his last few days. His brother Ray came to visit him and spent the afternoon with him before he died late that evening.

A celebration of his life was held in June 2012, with a musical service at the First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro of some of his favorite music, interspersed with readings and memories of family members. Later that day, family and friends joined for a festive gathering at Bob and Linda's mountaintop home at Afton and then participated in a tree planting of an oak tree on the back edge of the Swannanoa Country Club overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, around which his ashes were scattered and a carved fieldstone installed reading "Bobby Gray Wilson, 1932-2012. This Mountain Was His Home."

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Bobby Gray Wilson's Timeline

September 27, 1932
Timberlake, Person County, North Carolina
May 3, 2012
Age 79
Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia
June 2, 2012
Age 79
Ashes buried around a red oak tree near Azalea Drive, Afton, Virgnia