Our beloved Robert Allen Wilson, M.D. passed away on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.
He was born in Bakersfield, CA on October 22, 1947 to his parents, Nola and Paul Ash. As a young boy he split his time between his estranged father's home in Bakersfield and the other family center, Carbondale, Illinois, where is his mother remarried and his stepdad Robert E. Wilson adopted him, resulting in his name change.
At his alma mater, CarbondaleHigh School, among other things he lettered in football and debate and played trumpet in a Hang Five polka band. Following high school, he was part of the "Southern Illinois favorite rock and blues band of the mid 60s", the Viscounts, playing organ, piano, and trumpet. The Viscounts played parties and dances around the area weekly between 1964 and 1968.
During his studies in Journalism at Southern Illinois State University, he enlisted in campus Air Force ROTC, where he met and married in 1968 his first wife, Eda Kathleen Shannon of Herrin, IL. Graduating SIU-C in 1969 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, he was commissioned to his first tour of duty at Griffiss Air Force Base in Georgia as an Information Officer. He was transferred to SpokaneWA in 1970 where he graduated the rigorous USAFSurvivalSchool, and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant while serving there. In 1972 he received an honorable discharge, and entered SIU-C's MedPrep program where he was a founding member of the Carbondale Free Clinic, and later met Diana Lea Wiley. In the ensuing years he divorced his first wife and married Diana in 1977. Rob entered SIU School of Medicine in 1975, graduated and began Psychiatric Residency in Springfield, IL in 1978. In 1979 they had their first child, Cheryl. Upon completion of his Residency, they moved to Carbondale, Illinois in 1982, where Dr. Wilson served as staff Psychiatrist at Carbondale Medical Clinic. He also was a public servant at County Public Health Centers in Herrin, El Dorado and others. Their first son, Jonathan was born in Carbondale in 1985. In 1986, Dr. Wilson re-enlisted in the Air Force as a Captain, and the family relocated to California. There he was appointed as Chief of Mental Health at Vandendberg Air Force Base 30th MedicalGroupHospital. In 1988, he and Diana had a second son, Nathaniel.
During his years at Vandenberg, he progressed to his final rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During those years he served a key position in Desert Storm Readiness and in 1993, he received the Meritorious Service Medal: "Colonel Wilson is testament to the "˜Whole Person' concept, substantiated by over six years of sustained superior activities of the Mental health Clinic, providing all facets of psychiatric care for active duty, dependent, and retired patients: The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Wilson reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force".
In 1997, he received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force, moved the family to Paso Robles, CA and began work at AtascaderoStateHospital as Forensic Psychiatrist in charge of unit 1. He was also the head of the Bioethics Committee and directed the pain management program. He retired for medical reasons in 2006.
During his retirement, he became an expert genealogist and left a stunning legacy on Ancestry.com.
He is survived by his wife, Diana, his daughter, Cheryl, and his two sons, Jonathan and Nathaniel. A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, March 9th, 2014 at the Kuehl-Nicoly Funeral Home in Paso Robles, CA. The family asks in lieu of flowers, to please make a contribution to the funeral fund.
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