Donald Edward Wilson
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Donald Edward Wilson
  • July 23, 1935 - October 10, 2017
  • Annandale, Virginia

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Our beloved Donald E. Wilson (Coach) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 with his family by his side after a long battle with cancer. Don was born 23 July 1935 in Shenandoah, Iowa and graduated from Shenandoah High School. He attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and American University in Washington, D.C. He is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, and Bea Richardson (friend and caregiver). His beloved wife and love of his life Carmaleta Wilson passed away in 2001 after 47 years of marriage. He joins his brother (Jack Wilson) and sister (Patsy Martin) in heaven for eternal and peaceful rest.

COL (ret) Wilson joined the Iowa Army National Guard in 1953 and served in various assignments through 1968 when he was assigned to duty in the National Guard Bureau (NGB) in Washington, D.C. as a Force Structure/Readiness Staff Officer. Called to Active Duty in 1969 for service in the Republic of South Vietnam, he returned to NGB in 1974 to complete his military career as an Army National Guard (ARNG) Tour Officer with retirement from active duty in 1987 after 34 years of ARNGUS service. The final six years of his career were served at Headquarters, Army Materiel Command in Washington, D.C., as the Senior Army National Guard Advisor. Colonel Wilson became Director of Army Activities at the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) in October 1987.

After his retirement from NGAUS in 1995, he was the sole proprietor of Don Wilson Consulting (DWC), an independent consultant/advisor to Defense Industry clients on modernization/readiness of the National Guard/Reserve Component. COL (ret) Wilson was a graduate of the Infantry Officer Candidate School and the Infantry Officer Career Course, Fort Benning, Georgia; Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. He was a Life Member of NGAUS, AUSA, ROA, and MOAA - as well as a Life Member of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bull" Association and was elected to the Ft. Benning OCS Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also a Life Member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

His Awards and Decorations include: Combat Infantry Badge; Legion of Merit (2); Bronze Star with "V" Device (2); Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Good Conduct Medal and other service; state and foreign awards; decorations and badges.

Don lived a long and fulfilling life with a lot of joy and good times. He brought a charm and light to every room he entered and would do anything for a friend. He will be missed by many but we will all remember the happiness he brought to this world. Heaven must have been nice before but we're pretty sure it's about to get turned upside down!