Cover photo for James "Jim" William Wilson's Obituary
James "Jim" William Wilson Profile Photo
1936 James 2022

James "Jim" William Wilson

September 12, 1936 — December 20, 2022

Athens, Georgia

On Tuesday, December 20, 2022, James “Jim” William Wilson of Athens, Georgia passed away at the age of 86 years old.  He was born and raised in rural Linwood, Kansas to Harry and Opal Wilson.  He and his brother, Joe, fell in love with bluegrass music at a young age.  Music became a life-long passion that he freely shared with his children, friends, and anyone who wanted to join in the song.  Students and friends fondly remember jam sessions at the Wilson home and the hospitality extended to all.

After serving in the United States National Guard, he left Linwood to attend Emporia State Teacher’s College in Emporia, Kansas.  He later received a master’s degree from Emporia State Teachers College and another from the University of Notre Dame. After moving to California with his young family, he received a doctorate degree from Stanford University in Mathematics Education.  He was an educator for 59 years and served on the faculty at the University of Georgia for 49 years in the math education department, 25 of which as the department head.  He retired in 2016 as a Professor Emeritis. During his career, he lectured and taught on the national stage and his groundbreaking work in his field changed the face of Math Education. His teaching legacy lives on in the lives and careers of his many students.

On May 28, 1960, he married Corene Crissie Say of Wilsey, Kansas.  Her support and encouragement allowed Jim to pursue his many passions.  Jim and Corene were active members of the UGA community and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Athens, Georgia for the last 54 years. Together they raised three girls, Mary Corene, Nancy Jo, and Karen Louise.  They have been blessed with eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  Inspired by his legacy, many of his family members have pursued careers in education, music, and a lifetime of service.

He is preceded in death by his father, Harry Wilson, his mother, Opal Wilson, and grandson, Blake Wilson Buckler.  He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Corene Crissie Say Wilson, his brother Harvey Joseph Wilson, his three daughters, Mary Wilson Kerr (and her husband Ralph Kerr), Nancy Jo Buckler (and her husband Steve Buckler), and Karen Louise Mitchell (and her husband Mark Mitchell).

The family will receive friends at Lord and Stephens, WEST, Watkinsville,  Monday, December 26, 2022 from 6:00-8:00pm.  A funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, lead by Fr. Bryan Kuhr assisted by Deacon Mark Mitchell, on December 27, 2022 at 11:00am.  Interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be his son-in laws, Ralph Kerr and Steve Buckler, and his grandsons, Josh Buckler, Will Mitchell, Ryan Kerr, Matt McPherson, Adam Fisk, and Mitch Kight.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to St. Joseph’s Building Fund ( or the Jim Wilson Endowment Fund (

Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jim" William Wilson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, December 26, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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