Robert Paul Wilson, age 83, passed away on June 15, 2017, at his home in Watkinsville, GA after a valiant fight against a lingering illness.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dolores, his son John and daughter in law, Betsey, his son Robert, Jr., his daughter Margaret Phillips, his daughter Theresa, his son Matthew, grandchildren, Robert P. Wilson III, Caitlin Phillips, Christopher Phillips, Grace Wilson, Griffin Ennis, Clark Ennis, Bo Ennis, and great grandchildren Dallas Coleman and Tatum Ennis.
Born in Mayfield, PA on December 29, 1933, and raised there and in West New York, NJ, Bob enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps immediately upon graduation from high school in June, 1951. He fought and served honorably in the Korean War, and after his discharge in 1954, was married in 1955. He completed some college, and went to work as a claims manager for American Casualty Company in Minnesota. After a transfer to Charlotte NC, he decided in 1963 that he wanted to become a lawyer. So, he moved his family to Atlanta, where he could work a full time job in the day handling insurance claims, go to school in the evening 5 nights a week at Atlanta Law School, which did not require him to have completed his undergraduate studies before enrolling, and then head home after 9 to study.
He passed the bar on his first try in 1965, at a time when more than 2/3 of first time test takers failed. He was sworn in as a member of the Bar on June 11, 1965. After over 30 years of practicing law, the fact that he had never actually earned an undergraduate degree still bothered him, so he enrolled at the University of Georgia, and graduated with a B.A. degree in December, 1999.
He was a successful trial lawyer, based for over 30 years in Decatur, and then in the Watkinsville area, practicing in the courts of Georgia for over 50 years. He helped many people solve problems they could not have solved on their own. He was active in several professional associations, including the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the Marine Corps Lawyers of Georgia, the Decatur DeKalb Bar Association, and the Atlanta Lawyers Club. He was a lifelong Catholic, belonging to St Thomas More Church in Decatur, and then, later, the UGA Catholic Center in Athens. During his years in Decatur, he was active in the Rehoboth Lions Club, and the Father Thomas O'Reilly Council of the Knights of Columbus. He coached Little League, and attended innumerable baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and hockey games, watching his children play. He gave his full measure of effort to his family, his church, and his profession.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 1PM at the Catholic Center for the University of Georgia.
Lord and Stephens West is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com