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Donald Ray "Don" Wilson

September 4, 1936 ~ January 28, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Donald Ray Wilson Obituary

Donald Ray “Don” Wilson, 87, of Sterling, Kansas, passed away January 28, 2024, at his home. He was born September 4, 1936, in Osawatomie, Kansas, the son of Robert and Georgia (Stanton) Wilson. Don has resided in Sterling since 2014, formerly of Lenexa, Overland Park, Kansas, and Orange County, California. He graduated from Osawatomie High School in 1954. Don served in the United States Navy as an air traffic control operator from June, 1954 until 1958. After returning from the service, Don received his bachelor’s degree in science education, with a major in social science from Pittsburg State University where he received their distinguished service award in 2007 and 2009. While attending college he was a founding member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity Chapter. He later earned a master’s degree in education administration from Long Beach State University in 1968. After teaching history for junior high students in Buena Park, CA Don became an Orange County Assistant Superintendent specializing in curriculum serving 27 school districts in Orange County, California. Don created and owned School Administrators’ Publishing Company, LLC from 1982-2022 until he handed the business over to his daughter Rebecca Diaz. Don became a bestselling author and publisher writing evaluation books designed specifically for school superintendences and principals throughout the United States and Australia. He also wrote a personnel evaluation book for the US Military. Don was an active member of the Osawatomie Kansas High School Alumni Association. He, along with his brother Ralph Wilson, were enthusiastic members of their Gorilla Club at Pitt State for many decades. During his career in education Don participated in many civic organizations which included the International Rotary Association as a Director and the Orange County Legal Association. Don’s dry sense of humor was one of his best attributes and he enjoyed visiting with people about many subjects, including politics. He was an accomplished woodworker and showed his fine artistic skills throughout his many years. He always prided himself on his well equipped garage so he could tackle any idea he may have come up with. For a few years, while living in Newport Beach, CA he enjoyed building dog houses for friends that in detail match their own homes. However, in his later years he resorted to busying himself with projects highlighting his splicing and duck taping work. He hated the unsightly look of hanging cords. There was always a corner or wall that needed repair from his not so delicate scooter rides around the house. He also enjoyed attending all high school and Sterling college football or basketball games. Donald R Wilson was a unique man. He had a sharp tongue and a short fuse but his smile, humor and generosity was first class. He is survived by his three children, Tracee Van Slyke and husband Dan of Glide, OR, Jennifer Wilson of Murrieta, CA, Rebecca Diaz and fiancé Steve Eidson of Sterling, KS; sister, Linda Lockey of Sterling, KS; three grandchildren, Lindsee Coke and husband Jeremiah, Levi Van Slyke and wife Rochelle, and Samuel Ray Diaz; several great-grandchildren; and beloved nieces and nephews. Don is preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Terri Rae Wilson; brother, Ralph Wilson; and nephew, Matthew Beumer. Funeral service will be on Friday, February 9th, 5:00pm at Birzer Funeral Home, Sterling, with Christian Dashiell officiating and Military honors by the United States Navy Honor Guard. Burial will be at 1:00pm Osawatomie Cemetery, Osawatomie, KS the following afternoon Saturday, February 10th. Memorials may be given to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association in care of Birzer Funeral Home, Sterling.

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Funeral Service
February 9, 2024

5:00 PM
Birzer Funeral Home
203 N. 7th
Sterling, Kansas 67579


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