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Joyce and family,
So enjoyed my many visits with Chug over the years. There were so many laughs. It was a joy to observe his tremendous
pride in the Orchard. Thank you for sharing him with all of us.
Chug Wilson dearly loved students and would revel in hosting field trips to Wilson Orchard for Dr. Ken Jensen's Botany Classes.
I helped Dr. Jensen with many field trips to the orchard and Chug was always so friendly and knowledgeable that the students always thought this field trip was one of the highlights of the class. Besides the delicious apples we all got to taste, he taught the students the art of fruit tree propagation.
I have many fond memories of my days as a teaching assistant for Dr. Ken Jensen and these field trips to the orchard.
Chug was one of a kind and is remembered fondly.
Joyce and boys,
My journey started with Dorothy and John in 1964 at 408 E College St. I felt a part of the family from then on. It was always a delight being with Chug at College St. and again at Sycamore mall. He was always upbeat, fun and positive.
The two of us flew to Vegas once to a Ski Show. When close to landing at Vegas, the tower told Chug what to do, he couldn't hear them so they repeated twice (I was no help). Finally tower said "do you see the 747 ahead of you? He said he did, the tower said "follow it in".
Chug was one of a kind, my mentor my boss and best of all my friend.
My thoughts are with you all.
In our family Jenny (a pastry chef by training) and I consider ourselves very lucky to have joined the fan club of Chug and Joyce early into our brief residency off Rapid Creek Road across the actual Rapid Creek from the orchard. It was 2001-2005. On the day after 9/11 we all saw Air Force One over our land on its way to Washington. There was a fierce summer night when your roof was hit by a tornado... while we spent the night in our basement. What a pastoral view and warm welcome we would receive on our visits to the orchard- Jenny serving as a tester server and me as a consumer of fruit and baked goods. We both love the Wilsons and feel a strong affection for them, the memories they provide and that we now treasure.. . Love and many good thoughts and thanks, Deba, Jim, Jenny Leach, and Gallagher, whose family now enjoys what you created as well. We are all blessed.
Dear Joyce, the twins, Scott, and Danny,
I am so sorry for your loss. Chug was a kind, generous and wonderful man and I admired him very much. I worked at Wilson’s through high school and college, and it was a dream job thanks to you all. I felt like a part of the family and cherish those days.
I am sending much love and prayers.
I am blessed to have worked for Chug.
I met Chug when he was first getting the orchard started in the early 1980’s when I brought my Treebrook Preschool children to visit. We went each fall for thirty+ years. Chug and Joyce were very kind and helpful, and even came out to our house to install the new basketball hoop for our son. Chug was also very generous to my preschoolers in the beginning years, letting each child and parent(s) pick a whole apple for a snack. We all loved his stories and fun-loving nature. Thirty families (two groups with fifteen children) were introduced to the orchard each year and came back with the rest of their families and friends, and spread the word! Chug (and Joyce) were dearly beloved!
Joyce and family, I'm very sorry to learn of Chug's passing. He brought so much to our community for so long. My first memory of him was as a young boy enthralled by "Tug & Chug" at City High. I watched with much excitement & anticipation. Of course I became a City High graduate too. Wilson's on Washington St. was the place every aspiring young Iowa City athlete wanted to go. The orchard will forever be his happy place--as it has become for all of our community. Chug was always a joy to visit with--and a great man. A life very well lived. You'll no doubt share a lifetime of warm memories. I wish you all the best! Pat
I’ve lived here my whole life, yet had never been to the orchard until my son started preschool. We fell in love immediately and soon were making multiple trips each week with Grandma & Grandpa in tow. It wasn’t just the best apples I’d ever tasted, the beautiful view from the lot overlooking the trees ripe with fruit or even the impossible to resist warm apple turnovers ~ the real attraction was Chug. Chug & Hawkeye & Bessie were the reason we wore out the road getting there. Chug led us on many perilous adventures, but always brought us back unscathed by those alligators in the crick. He told the best, worst jokes ever & even managed to slip in some interesting facts about the apples & the orchard along the way. He knew my preschool son by name almost immediately and would welcome him up on the driver’s seat of Bessie after she was safely parked up by the shop again.
We continued to go, faithfully every year, all of us a little older & the ride always started with my son wondering if good old Hawkeye had made it through another winter. For many years the answer was yes...until it wasn’t. Then our amazing friends passed the orchard on to new owners & it’s still a favorite fall destination, but it will never be the same magical place it once was for us. I feel so lucky that we discovered Chug, Joyce, Hawkeye, Bessie and that apple filled valley when we did.
Heaven got a good one ~ Rest Easy Chug
Lisa & Logan Crawford
My Dad played football at Iowa with Chug .Chug always greeted him as "Dud" or "Bwana" .When we were young I remember the great time we had with the boys ,Iowa homecoming parades fresh donuts right after. Stopped by often to Wilson's Sports for everything !!!! My mom worked there for a time and it was truly a family. .Chug always had a smile , a story and that signature laugh . He always seemed to lift you up and make you feel better . Joyce and Chug were the perfect couple in every way. I can say that I never saw him or Joyce in a bad mood,a quality ,I wish more including myself had . Loved talking to him about football in the 50's. Especially Iowa win over Notre Dame ! Fond memories of all the Wilson family,the orchard ect . Those were great times . My condolences and prayers . Jeff and Susan Noble
Rest in Peace, Chug.
Our deepest sympathy to Joyce and family.
My family is grateful for the many memories we have of Mr. Wilson. Visits to the orchard for family apple picking, homeschool field trips or just a drive by, park the minivan and run in to buy apples and turnovers provide for idyllic childhood memories. My children and countless others are blest to have experienced the effervescent Mr. Wilson who always had a smile and an encouraging word. Joyce, you two made a great team and you probably didn’t realize that while you created lovely memories for our children you also helped their parents by your example of married love. Not only the kids, but moms and dads were better for having the privilege of spending time at Wilson’s Orchard. Heaven got a good one. May God bless your beautiful family. Anne Mallampalli, Dublin, Ohio
Chug was an amazing person--a smile and a story for everyone. I will always carry fond memories of fall afternoons at the orchard, hearing Chug enthusiastically discussing apples and urging 'take a walk, eat an apple.' The care with which he and Joyce built Wilson's Orchard is evident and will continue as a testament to his passion for apples and helping people have memorable experiences. My condolences to you all.
I'm so sorry to hear about Chug. He brought such joy to people's lives, both young and not so young, especially out at the orchard. When my folks came to town, we would always go out to the orchard, have a visit with Joyce and Chug, and indulge in those wonderful apple turnovers!
Scott and family, sorry to hear about the loss of Chug, he was always entertaining to listen too and was such a character. Prayers are with you all.
Dear Joyce and boys,
Chug always had a smile and a great story. As a kid on Kimball Rd. I remember when you got the trampoline and built the bomb shelter. I thought you were so cool. Growing up just up the street I remember so many times in our yards ending in the occasional apple fight over the fence between our house and your grandpa. So many good memories of our little section of the world. Last time I saw Chug was at the orchard after I'd come back to care for my mom. When he saw me he said "Barbie" and we shared memories, some I never knew before. This picture of Chug is so great, a perfect, befitting way to remember him. My best to all of you. Barbie Brender
I was saddened to read of your father's death. He was an icon in Iowa City. Wilson's was the place to shop for sporting goods and the wagon rides through the orchard are fond memories!
Shimek Elementary Teacher
This is for all of you family members of Robert. You all have my deepest sincere sympathy at this time of your loss. I always had a great time talking to Chug when I was at there place. He was a great friend of our moms, Betty Sedlacek. She always talked very highly of him and thought a lot of him. I knew Steven ( Scott ) the best out of the family him being into hot rod cars. Chug was a super nice guy and a great man that was always very friendly to ever he met!! He will be missed by many people.
Extending our sympathy to all family and friends of Chugs♡
city high class of 73
Linda Sexton Fobian
city high class of 74