William's Story

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William "Bill" Everett Wilson, psychologist, photographer and author, passed away in Owosso, on Feb. 19, 2018. He was 94.
William was born in Traverse City, on July 7, 1923, to Roy Willard Wilson and Mary Dandy Wilson. The family moved to Detroit, where he attended Monnier Elementary and Cooley High School. William entered the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and served as a radio operator in the 33rd Fighter Control Squadron in the Pacific. Upon returning, he attended Wayne State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1949. In 1950, he married the love of his life, Katharine (Kay) Harriet Jones. In 1951, he taught at the Ellis School of Observation in Detroit, an experience he wrote about in Your Mother Wears Combat Boots. In 1954, he earned his master's degree in clinical psychology from Wayne State University. In 1955, he started the first child guidance clinic in Adrian, and he and Kay moved to Adrian. In 1956, their first son, Gary was born. In 1957, William began working at the Huron Valley Guidance Clinic in Ypsilanti, and later, as director of special education at Wayne Community Schools. That same year, their second son, Mark was born, and they moved to Livonia. In 1965, William began working as a psychologist for the Crestwood School District, and he received his doctorate in education from Wayne State University in 1966. Soon thereafter, he opened a private practice in Livonia, which he continued until he and Kay moved to Suttons Bay in 1975, and he opened a private practice in Traverse City. He and Kay later moved to Traverse City, where he worked until his retirement. Kay passed away in 1987. Retirement opened the opportunity for him to pursue a lifelong passion, photography, and he operated Images of Northern Michigan for many years. In 1999, he also co-founded the Traverse Area Camera Club through the Presbyterian Church of Traverse City, where he was a member and a deacon. William also served on the board of the Traverse Area District Library and volunteered at the gift shop there. In 2015, he moved to Owosso, where he authored his memoir, Images of My Life.
Beyond his many accomplishments, Bill will be remembered for his kind, gentle nature, his deep love of his family and friends, and his passion for the arts and social justice. He will be fondly remembered and missed by all.
William is survived by his son, Gary William Wilson; daughter-in-law, Rosemary Somand Wilson; and granddaughter, Katharine Marie Wilson, of Owosso; as well as his son, Mark Douglas Wilson; daughter-in-law, Shari Collom Wilson; and granddaughter, Emma Rose Wilson, of Nevada City, California.
Visitation for Bill will take place Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. The service celebrating Bill's life will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at The Presbyterian Church of Traverse City, 701 Westminster Road, with the Rev. Melissa Lopez and the Rev. Becky Chamberlain officiating. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Bill's memory may be directed to Habitat for Humanity, 1129 Woodmere Ave., Suite F, Traverse City, MI 49686 (www.habitatgtr.org) or to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Development Office, 1820 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, MI 48207 (www.csk.org).
Please share your memories and thoughts with Bill's family at www.reynolds-Jonkhoff.com.
The family is being served and cared for by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on February 20, 2018
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