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Donald “Don” A. Wilson, age 81, of Topeka, KS, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, May 14, 2021.
He was born on June 14, 1939 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the only child of Harry and Eleanor (Bidne) Wilson.
Don attended and graduated from Cedar Falls High School. While there, he was very involved in athletics, lettering in football, wrestling, track and baseball in his junior and senior years. Don went on to attend and graduated in 1962 from the University of Northern Iowa earning both a B.A. and M.A. in Business. While attending, Don wrestled and lettered in his junior and senior years and participated in the 1962 national championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His UNI team placed 5th in the nation.
He began his career in teaching in Racine, Wisconsin for three years and at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa for four years. In 1969, he became the administrator for the Ellsworth Hospital in Iowa Falls. In 1978, he joined the Iowa Hospital Association as Vice-President of finance and planning. In 1982, he became President of the Kansas Hospital Association, a position he held for the next 22 years. Don received the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees Award in 2003. He retired in December of 2004. After retirement, Don worked part-time as a health care consultant, and he served on the boards of the Marian Clinic and Via Christi Health in Wichita and was a member of the Topeka South Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellow.
Don was very active in his Catholic faith and was a founding member of Christ the King Catholic Church and a 50-year member of the Knights of Columbus.
His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. He enjoyed golf, fishing and was an avid sports fan. Fishing was indeed a great passion, involving many adventures from the Amazon in Brazil to the wilds of Alaska. However, some of his fondest memories were vacations at the family cabin in Minnesota and fishing trips to Canada with his buddies. After his retirement, Don and Jan traveled to Europe with good friends and especially enjoyed their trip to Norway. In his younger years, Don was active in Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Don married Janet “Jan” Schager on August 17, 1963 at St. Marks Catholic Church in Iowa Falls, Iowa. She survives of the home after 57 years of marriage. Other survivors include his daughter, Mary Schroer and her husband Carl of Leawood, KS; son, Dr. Michael Wilson and his wife Amber of Wichita, KS; son, Philip Wilson and his wife Annette of Racine, WI; seven grandchildren, Meagan Kliewer and her husband Garrett, Kelsey Wilson, Zachary Wilson and his fiancé Lindsey Chmielewski, Matthew Wilson, Christopher Schroer, Emily Schroer, Daniel Wilson and one great-grandson, Harrison Kliewer.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial visitation will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 9:30 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M., all at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 SW 25th St., Topeka, KS 66614. Inurnment will follow at Holy Trinity Mausoleum at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.
Memorial contributions can be made in Don’s memory to the Eleanor Wilson Memorial Endowed Scholarship c/o UNI Foundation Financial Services, 121 Commons, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0239 and/or to Christ the King Catholic Church. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home. To share a memory or to leave condolences, please visit, www.brennanmathenafh.com.
Arrangements entrusted to Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
9:30 - 11:00am (Central time)
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
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