Robert Wilson
Robert Wilson
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Obituary of Robert Stringer Wilson

Robert Stringer Wilson, M.D., 92, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and formerly of Clarksburg, West Virginia, died January 30, 2012 at his home from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

He was born in Clarksburg on January 9, 1920, the son of James Edward Wilson, Sr., M.D. and Mary Evelyn Boggess Wilson.

Dr. Wilson graduated from Washington Irving High School in 1937 and West Virginia University in 1941, where he was a member of the golf team and Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He went on to graduate from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1944 and was an Orthopaedic Intern at Johns Hopkins from 1944 to 1945, Assistant Resident, 1945-46 and, from 1946 to 1948, served in the Army Medical Corps where he obtained the rank of captain. He came back to Johns Hopkins in 1949 as Chief Resident, Orthopaedics.

In 1950, Dr. Wilson returned to Clarksburg where he practiced orthopaedic surgery, establishing an office in the Prunty Building. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He was a member and president of the medical staff of the former Saint Mary's and Union Protestant hospitals. Following the merger of these two institutions, he served as United Hospital Center's first president of the medical staff. Dr. Wilson was instrumental in bringing the polio vaccine to Harrison County. He was past president of the Harrison County Medical Society. "Dr. Bob," as he was known around Clarksburg, retired in 1994.

On June 30, 1945, Dr. Wilson married Helen Maynard of Baltimore, Maryland, daughter of William Hard and Helen Vail Maynard. She passed away on June 12, 1969. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Helen Woodward Croghan, daughter of John Robert and Brita Long Woodward. Seven sons and one step-son survive him: Robert Stringer Wilson, Jr. of Rockville, Maryland, James Edward (Diane) Wilson II of Brookline, New Hampshire, Richard Maynard Wilson of Salt Lake City, Utah, Philip Caleb Wilson of Rutherford, New Jersey, David Matthews Wilson of Palo Alto, California, William Levin Wilson (James Higgins) of Kinston, North Carolina, Frederick Fielding (Jacqueline) Wilson of Clarksburg and Thomas Woodward (Patricia Pittman) Croghan, M.D. of Davidsonville, Maryland.

Surviving grandchildren are Julia Lynne Wilson and Levin James Wilson, both of Brookline, New Hampshire, Ian Milan Croghan and Emma Reyn Croghan, both of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Philip Anthony Wilson and Austin Robert Wilson, both of Clarksburg. Dr. Wilson is survived by his brother, Thomas Clifford Wilson, M.D. of Northampton, Massachusetts. He was preceded in death by eight brothers and sisters: Mary Evelyn Wilson Beauchamp, James E. Wilson, Jr., M.D., Marie "Toni" Wilson Moore, Jane Wilson Thomson, Anne Wilson Morris, Margaret "Peggy" Wilson Gleason, John D. H. Wilson, M.D. and Sara "Sally" Wilson Greene.

Dr. Wilson was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a former member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Clarksburg and All Saints Catholic Church in Bridgeport.

Personal interests included a passion for family genealogy, local history and lore. He was instrumental in establishing the Harrison County Historical Society in 1963, serving as its first president. He also enjoyed farming, golf, collecting and restoring American antiques, as well as wood carving and an appreciation for art pottery.

Dr. Wilson was given extraordinary care by the staff at Carolina Meadows Health Center and UNC Hospice.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to UNC Hospice, P.O. Box 1077, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312.

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