James Garland Wilson II, 73, died unexpectedly Thursday morning, Aug. 15, 2013, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. He transitioned from this life with his family by his side.
He was born March 29, 1940, in Charleston to James and Mary (Barker) Wilson.
He attended and graduated from Huntington High School in Huntington and continued his education at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., and Marshall University in Huntington.
He enjoyed fishing, skiing, backpacking, kayaking, camping, motorcycle riding and playing scrabble and tennis with his family and friends. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed following the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns and Marshall University sports teams.
He was a member of Landmark Baptist Church in Elkins. He was a member of OWAA (Outdoor Writer's Association of America). He wrote and published three books and was a regular contributor to Wonderful West Virginia Magazine.
He had articles in Goldenseal and WV Living Magazines. He had a weekly column in the Webster Echo newspaper in Webster Springs and was a regular contributor to the Woods and Waters publication.
He joined the Snowshoe Mountain Courtesy Patrol in 1994 and was an active member in this post for 15 years. He also volunteered his time with the CAWV (Challenged Athletes of West Virginia) along with Dave Begg at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty; daughter, Jamie Wildridge and her husband, Bill, of Beaufort, S.C.; and son, Jim and only grandchild, Chyanna of Belington. Also surviving is one sister, Mary Harvey Midkiff of Huntington.
He had a passion for animals and is also survived and missed by several loving cats and dogs. He was owner and CEO of Wilson Welding Company and The Camp Site in Huntington before retiring to Randolph County. After retirement, he and Betty owned and operated Elk Springs Hatchery and Campground in Monterville and were equal partners in Point Mountain Properties Development Company. They still own Elk Springs Campground, Inc. in Webster County. He served in the U.S. Army in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Mr. Wilson has been cremated.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at Tomblyn Funeral Home in Elkins. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday from the funeral home chapel with Dr. Ken Shiflet officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Randolph County Humane Society, PO Box 785, Elkins, WV 26241, the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY, 10016 or the American Heart Association, Ohio Valley Affiliate, WV Region, P.O. Box 12110, Charleston, WV 25302 in memory of Mr. Wilson.
Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for James Garland Wilson. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.