Ralph Sloan Wilson ’59

Ralph Sloan Wilson, 83, of Little Rock, Ark., and Rye, N.H., was born in 1937, the fourth child of George E. Wilson and Lauree E. Doss, of El Dorado, Ark.

Dr. Wilson was an ophthalmic surgeon and educator specializing in retinology. He held degrees from Davidson College, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS College of Medicine), Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

In 1958, he married Sarah M. Ross (deceased 2018), with whom he had three children. He loved playing piano and had lifelong passions for tennis and the outdoors. He enjoyed family adventures: bicycling, camping, hiking, water skiing, snow skiing and boating-and, in his later years, traveling the world.

In 1970, he returned with his family from Boston to Little Rock as the first retina specialist in the state, and joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as Director of Retina Services in the Department of Ophthalmology.

In 1975, he established a private practice, Retinal Group Ltd., and continued teaching until 1996. In 1987, he married Ann S. Matsek (deceased 2015), and returned to New England in the late 1990s to live in New Hampshire, where he had previously served as LCDR at Portsmouth Naval Hospital.

A recipient of awards for instructional excellence from UAMS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Wilson introduced several new procedures and authored over 200 scholarly articles, exhibits, and films relating to his specialty.

He was a diplomat and examiner for the American the Board of Ophthalmology, and belonged to the honorary societies of Sigma Xi, Society of Heed Fellows, The Retina Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the American Ophthalmological Society.

Furthering his commitment to education, Dr. Wilson also served for many years on the Board of Trustees of Lyon College in Batesville, Ark.

In late 2020, an adverse reaction to radiation treatment returned him to the hospital rooms, this time on the receiving side, but his humor remained till the end.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia D. Van Dyke, of Rye, N.H.; his three children: R. Sloan Wilson (and wife Elisabeth), William G. Wilson (and wife Lily), and S. Robert Wilson; and five stepchildren: John Matsek III, Nicholas A. Van Dyke, Robert P. Van Dyke, Kristen E. Liddell, and Peter F. Van Dyke. Private services will be held in the future.

Arrangements are by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home – Crematory, 811 Lafayette Rd., Hampton, N.H. Please visit www.RemickGendron.com to read Dr. Wilson’s complete obituary, to sign his tribute wall and for additional information.

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(photo: Greer Lile, 1980s).