James R. Wilson passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease Monday morning, October 8, 2018 at the age of 80.  He went peacefully in his sleep.

Jim was born in Marion, Ohio on Ground Hog’s Day 1938 to George and Dorothy Wilson. He graduated from Marietta College where he joined the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and rowed on the Varsity Crew team. He served in the US Army in Yuma, Arizona for several years. While serving in the Army Reserve in San Francisco, he met and married his wife of 51 years from Paris, France, Mireille Saskia Tchiboukdjian in 1967. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Environmental Regional Planning. After his studies, he was offered a job by the up-and-coming Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter. He worked for the state of Georgia as a Chief of Resource Planning in the Natural Resources Department. His passion for the environment, animals, and preserving the Earth led him to become the COO and Editor-In-Chief of the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

Jim resided in Marietta, Georgia with his wife and two daughters, Celine and Jessica. After retiring, he moved to Nashville, TN to be closer to his daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren. He is survived by his Wife, daughters Celine Wilson Light and Jessica Thomas, brother Tom and sister Ruth. “Papa Jim” is also survived by his four grandchildren, Langston, Desmond, Everett, and Annie.

He will be remembered for his dry wit, love for his family and animals, and zest for venison chili and clam dip. He loved to read; watch movies, especially Westerns; explore the world with his wife; take cruises; and visit his daughters in the various places they lived around the country.

Many years ago Jim said that Houston would flood one day and more than once. He thought that water quality would significantly deteriorate because of overpopulation, that fish in the ocean would perish, and people would get sick/die from all the chemicals in our drinking water. He said some areas would have no water and there would be fights for it.

Jim will not witness all of his predictions but his respect for conservation and concern for our planet’s future will live on through his spirit with his family. The family will bury him naturally in the Tennessee Hills, without chemicals to further contaminate the soil at Larkspur Conservation at Taylor Hollow in Westmoreland, TN, a non-profit land preserve. It is the only burial location in the country protected by the Nature Conservancy, opened September 2018. Jim will be given a low-impact, environmentally friendly, mindful burial according to his Buddhist philosophy in a private ceremony on October 12.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are encouraged to Larkspur Conservation on their website: Larkspur Conservation

Jim was thoughtful, inquisitive, and loved to laugh. He would want a memory of him to be a joyful one.