Ralph Mitchell Wilson


Our amazing Husband, Dad, family man, diligent, industrious, active, entrepreneur, patriarch and friend — slipped away Saturday evening, the 11th of January 2020. Dad suffered a massive stroke six months ago which left him with minor physical challenges, though he lost all capacity to speak. He endured it well, watching and listening, but left us wondering about his thoughts and fears and needs.

Dad was born March 21st, 1935 in Ogden, Utah, to John Raymond and Ruby Leona Grange Wilson. Within a few years, the family moved to Los Angeles where his father worked for the newspaper. As a kid, Dad’s family camped often, tenting, fishing, mule pack trips, Sequoia, Redwoods, Death Valley, Yosemite, the beaches, Island Park and Yellowstone. Dad excelled in sports, particularly basketball, track and baseball. Though his family was not engaged in any specific religion, Dad and his siblings were required to attend a Church of their choice every Sunday. When Dad was sixteen, his father died unexpectedly, and the family returned to Utah. Dad enrolled that fall at West High and played on the basketball team. The best part of West High was his acquaintance with Cornelia Jonsson, and the rest is history.

Dad and Mom married in 1955 and Dad was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both attended the University of Utah. Dad graduated in Electrical Engineering and spent a year in graduate school, working on an MBA. By that time, he had a wife and four boys, and took a job in San Diego working in the aeronautics industry. Several years later he was employed at IBM.

Our dad continued his childhood California traditions. He loved taking us to the beach and boating and water skiing often, usually with a picnic in the sand. Dad hiked with his sons in the Scouting program, and with Troop 222 he took one son on the Sierra Trek to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the Continental United States. Dad was always active. He often played Racquetball with work buddies. We enjoyed a notably happy childhood. We were taught of Jesus Christ. We were taught to pray. “Teach us tolerance and love.” “Thank thee for thy favors and blessings” which sister Kristin repeated as “Lifesavers and blessings.”

After 8 years, adding two daughters, and two homes in California, IBM moved us to Idaho Falls. Dad’s role at that point was training for the Nuclear Reactor Testing station and that computer was one of the largest computer installations in IBM’s history. While in Idaho, Dad equipped our whole family with winter gear and skis. All eight of us skied together at Targhee almost every Saturday during winter weather. Dad was an avid golfer and when summer arrived, he took great pleasure in teaching his children the game. Summers were also filled with camping, water skiing and fishing.

Dad continued in the computer industry, but moved into business applications with Chesbro Music, and his own venture Executive Data Services. Subsequent move to Utah brought dad into employment with Marriott Hotels where he designed the computer systems to manage the emerging Guest Services and frequent stay perks programs.

Dad’s greatest joy was his family. He also enjoyed gardening and auto mechanics! He constantly served family and neighbors with uncountable repairs to autos and garden equipment engines. He never hesitated to stop and help someone by the side of the road, even if he was wearing his Sunday clothes.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he served faithfully. Dad and Mom were called and worked together as ordinance workers in the Provo Temple.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Cornelia, his six children Scott Wilson (SLC), Steven (Debra) Wilson, Michael (Judith) Wilson, Mark (MaryAnne) Wilson (all of Spanish Fork), Julie (Steve) Lawson (Idaho Falls), and Kristin (Mark) Renauld (Ballston Lake, NY), brother-in-law John Hulme and sister-in-law Connie Wilson, 25 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his great- grandson, Hudson Garrett Harper, and siblings Susan Lee Wilson Hulme and John Raymond Wilson, Jr.

We will celebrate a life well lived, that of Husband, Father and Grandfather. His was a great example in deed and word. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Mapleton 4th Ward Chapel, 1316 South Main Street, Mapleton, Utah. Family and friends may visit on Friday evening, January 17, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Mapleton 4th Ward, and again on Saturday morning from 11:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery.

Our family extends deep gratitude to Walker Mortuary for their great care. Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.walkermemorials.com

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