James Young Wilson, Sr. ’38

James Young Wilson, Sr. ’38, a Lake City business leader, World War II veteran, and prominent volunteer who helped found what later became Lake City Community College, died July 17, 2006. After receiving degrees from Davidson College and the University of Florida, College of Laws, he entered the Army in 1941. When he returned from service in 1946 as a major, Mr. Wilson had received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and a Purple Heart. In Lake City, he became the chief executive officer of his father’s life insurance company, Wilson National Life, a position he held until 1974. He also was a member of the Florida Council of 100, a business advisory group to the governor. In 1947 he reorganized the Lake City National Guard company and became Florida department commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was elected state representative for Columbia County, a turn of fate that led him to meet his wife, Olema Oliver Wilson, on the Capitol steps. That same year marked his involvement in the founding of Lake City Forest Ranger School, one of the first schools to train rangers in the nation. He was a founding trustee, and he continued to serve as trustee when the institution became Lake City Community College in 1962. He also supported the college as director of Lake City Community College Foundation for 30 years. He also served as deacon and elder of First Presbyterian Church. He was chairman of the 125th anniversary committee and headed the building committee for the fellowship hall. Survivors include his wife, Olema O. Wilson, P.O. Box 1445, Lake City, Fla. 32056-1445; three children, Penny Wilson-Weber of Gainesville, Fla., James Young Wilson, Jr. of Billings, Mont., and Pattie Dale Wilson Tye of Houston; and two grandchildren.