James Peden Wilson
1930 - 2012
Published: November 27, 2012
James P. Wilson of Fayetteville went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. He was born Jan. 25, 1930, in Tulsa, Okla., to James E. and Clarice Garner Wilson.
Jim was preceded in death by his loving wife of 43 years, Mary, his parents, and a sister, Kay Savage.
He is survived by his two daughters, Susan Baker of Fayetteville and Sally Zahnen and husband, John of Little Rock; four grandchildren, Colton and Ashlyn Baker, Will Fason and Jake Zahnen; a special niece, Niki Thompson and husband, Brock of Little Rock; and a sister, Garnell Ownbey of Bethany, Okla.
Jim was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Arkansas in 1952. He received his MBA from the University in 1958 after serving two years in the U.S. Army and was a certified public accountant. After working for the federal government for 30 years, he retired as a deputy regional inspector general for audit in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
After his retirement, he and his family moved from Dallas, Texas, to Fayetteville where he worked in the Human Resources Department of Washington Regional Medical Center for 12 years before retiring again in 1999.
After his retirement, Jim became heavily involved as a volunteer with programs designed to help the needy in Fayetteville and surrounding communities. He volunteered for many years with Cooperative Emergency Outreach (CEO), serving in several different capacities. Jim was a member of the GOOD S.A.M. committee at Central United Methodist Church and helped on Tuesdays with their Community Meals program for many years. He was known as one of their best dishwashers! He also enjoyed singing with the Senior Saints choir and having coffee with friends.
Jim also loved working in his yard and could be seen many a day doing just that by passersby. He became a member of Fayetteville's Tree and Landscape Committee and was greatly involved in revising the city's tree ordinance. One of his proudest achievements was joining with Jeanie and Jimmy Hill and neighborhood friends in the early 1990s to raise over $7,000 to purchase and plant over 100 trees along Township Street between Old Wire and Crossover Roads. These trees, now fully-grown, will serve as a lasting memorial to Jim's love of nature.
A memorial service celebrating Jim's life will be held at Central United Methodist Church on 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Cooperative Emergency Outreach, P.O. Box 3631, Fayetteville, AR 72702; GOOD S.A.M. c/o Central United Methodist Church, 6 East Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701; or Willard Walker Hospice Home, 325 East Longview Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72703.