Herbert Wilson

Obituary of Herbert A. Wilson

Herbert Allen Wilson, age 93, of Iowa City, died Friday January 14th, 2022 at Oaknoll after a brief illness. His body has been donated to the UIHC Deeded Body Program. Born January 31st, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois the eighth child of Martha and Charles Wilson, he served in the US Navy, earned a Mechanical Engineering degree at Purdue University in 1951, and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1959. He married Janice Comstock in 1952 in Chicago, IL Herb's professional expertise was in the steel and printing industries. In 1973 he was hired to design and build the Iowa Steel Mill in Wilton, a most successful challenge which gave him great satisfaction. He went on to own and operate Micro-Surface Finishing Products until 2000. In 1994 he established Startups Unlimited, a consulting company devoted to fostering unique entrepreneurial business opportunities. Anyone who knew Herb respected the focused approach he had towards all endeavors. He worked tirelessly to benefit many organizations including Preucil School of Music, Hancher, Riverside Theater, First Presbyterian Church, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa Children's Museum, Mercy Hospital Foundation, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, University of Iowa Performing Arts programs, Old Capital, U of I and Purdue athletics, College of Business, School of Music, Iowa Women's Archives, and Purdue scholarships for engineering and band students. Herb was an active member and leader in Rotary for 58 years. He founded and funded the Rotary Action Group for Club Foot, served as District Foundation Chairman, and Rotary District Governor (2001-2002). He received numerous awards for his work, including: the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, three Rotary Foundation District Service Awards, Distinguished Service Citations for the Coralville-North Corridor Club, and Rotary’s top honor of Service Above Self. Herb was passionate about making education available to others and to improving educational institutions. He treasured the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City where he was a trustee and Foundation Board Member. He visited schools in Pakistan run by the Presbyterian Educational Board and they became a favorite charity. His greatest love and source of pride was family. As a team, the Wilson family built the ‘Cedar Chalet’ from the ground up at Lake Holiday in Illinois. Herb and Janice hosted activities which brought everyone together, such as houseboating, ski trips, and gatherings for family weddings. Herb loved piloting Cessna planes, singing in choirs, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, dancing, and genealogy. He enjoyed the competitive nature of racquetball, ping pong, tennis, and all spectator sports with family and friends. Of particular importance to him was his Friday morning coffee group. He loved discussions and was never hesitant to dispense wisdom and advice. Herb believed he never walked alone. His faith, family, friends, and those he worked with were always by his side. His wife Janice was his favorite teammate of all, as they worked together to make their dreams a reality. Herb was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and his loving granddaughter Tonya Marie Nicholson. He is survived by his wife Janice, of 69 years, his son Charles in Simi Valley, CA (Phyllis and children Jennifer and Daniel (Abbey)), son Steven in Port Angeles, WA, (Mirja and children Kris (Gita) and Lara), son Keith Wilson in Iowa City (Sandy and children Kirby (Travis), Chas (Lindsey), and Casey (Logan)), daughter Amy Nicholson in Iowa City (David and children Kyle (Molly) and Emily), great grandchildren Addison, Kaya, Dani, Lucas, Connor, Drake, Brinley, Hayden, Finn, Erik, Maverick, Oliver, Hudson, and Beckett. He is also remembered by the numerous foreign exchange students he and Janice hosted who have become a part of the family, including Canan Ezme Tapia in North Liberty (Reyes and son Umut). Herb’s energy and relentless enthusiasm came through in his radiant smile, laughter, kind sincerity, generosity, and desire to improve life, which benefited so many. He will be dearly missed yet will remain an inspiration. His legacy will live on forever. The Wilson family wishes to thank Compassus Hospice and Oaknoll for their loving care. Services celebrating Herb’s life will be held at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Iowa City on February 26th, 2022. Visitation will be held from 12pm-3pm. The celebration of life will begin at 3pm, with a reception to follow. The services can also be viewed by family and friends through the livestreaming feature on the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com at Herb’s page by clicking on obituary, then livestreaming box; where condolences may also be shared. You may also watch the St. Andrew Livestream through the following link: https://bit.ly/herbwilson In honor of Herb’s dedication to helping others, he requested donations be made to The Rotary International Foundation, Preucil School of Music Travel Endowment, or a charity of your choice, in lieu of flowers. Herb was well know for sharing words of wisdom or one liners. If you can recall one the Wilson family would love to hear it. http://bit.ly/HerbsWords