ROBERT DARRELL WILSON July 22, 1924 – July 29, 2016
Robert Darrell Wilson, 92, of Ashburn, VA, died Saturday after a short stay in the hospital.
Cherished husband, father, grandfather, and friend, he enjoyed a full, creative and productive life. Bob leaves a legacy of family and colleagues who followed their dreams as well as transformed university campuses across the country. He retired in the late 1980’s as Director of Facilities from the West Virginia Board of Regents after a career of award winning contributions to campus architecture and facility planning at Stanford University, CA, Wesleyan University, CT, and University of Michigan at Flint.
He was elected President of the Association of University Architects, AUA, while at U of M Flint where he hosted the AUA annual meeting at which the artist Christo presented the keynote speech on the important roles of transformational ideas and perseverance in achieving great work. An ethic that Bob embodied as he worked to build and renew university campuses in coordination with downtown urban redevelopment and revival.
After retiring, Bob worked as a consultant for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro while he and wife Lynne enjoyed an active retirement living in Georgetown, SC, where Bob captained the Jellybean as an active member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and in Tellico Village, TN. In 2008 they moved to Ashburn, VA to live near their daughter Joanne and her family.
Born in Hoquiam, WA, son of the late David and Jean Hoben Wilson, and brother of the late James Wilson, he graduated from Wheeler High in Oregon and volunteered for service with the 125th Naval Construction Battalion, participating in the battle of Okinawa. One of the most impactful memories of his service was flying over Nagasaki shortly after it was destroyed by the atomic bomb. After discharge he earned his BS in architecture from University of Oregon and became a licensed architect.
He is survived by his loving wife, Helen Zidek Wilson, Lynne; sons Randy (Sheila) of Troy, MI and Robert B. (Jackie) of Charleston, WV; daughters Cathy (Kent Rich) of Los Alamos, NM and Joanne Theurich (Ken) of Ashburn, Va.; grandchildren Robert and Rachel Wilson, Talerra and Dylan Rich, and Grace Theurich. Colonial Funeral Home, Ashburn, VA, is in charge of arrangements.