John F. Wilson, Jr. (Ph.D. ’97)

John Ford Wilson (80) of Huntsville, TX passed away unexpectedly at home on May 14, 2020. John is remembered as a man of deep faith and great intellect. He was a scholar, educator, physicist, and ordained clergy. He had a passion for opera, Bible study, classical music, tennis and golf; he was devoted to family and a dedicated teacher. John was born in Old Hickory, TN, on October 26, 1939, to the late John Ford Wilson, Sr. of Tennessee and Maude (Redyard) Wilson of Arkansas. John referred to himself as a country boy from Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1961 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and then completed an MBA (Purdue University) before taking his first job with DuPont. John and his former wife, Brenda Clement Wilson, settled in Wilmington, DE in 1962 where they raised their two daughters. John’s career led him from engineering to various business ventures in Delaware and North Carolina. He relocated to Texas where he lived in proximity to his brother and sister and their families. John remarried in 1994 to Marsha Clark Wilson in Houston. He completed his Ph.D. in Physics (University of Houston) where he taught and conducted research. Early retirement led John and Marsha to Huntsville, TX where both joined the faculty at Sam Houston State University. While teaching full-time, John pursued studies in theology which culminated in a Th.D. in Theology. John was ordained a Deacon in the Methodist Church, and published his only book discussing faith and science which he believed were fully compatible. John was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Tom Redyard Wilson. He is survived by his wife, Marsha; daughters, Bethany (Garrett) Howard of Mooresville, NC, and Shannon (Christopher) Miller of Wilmington, DE; his sister Anne (Mike) Simms of Scroggins, TX; stepsons, Corby (Emily) Page of Houston, and Carter (Tatsiana) Page of Brooklyn, NY; six grandchildren: Aaron and Elliot Miller; Caroline and Zachary Howard; and Kai and Aurora Page; sisters-in-law Diane Wilson of Savannah, GA, and Anne Johnson of Pleasanton, TX; nephews Kef and Gavin Wilson; nieces Susanne (Trevor) Turnbo and Lori Simms; and several great-nieces and nephews. A private family service was held on June 6, 2020 in Huntsville, TX and a Memorial Service will be scheduled later in the summer for extended family and friends. Tributes in his honor may be made to the John F. Wilson Memorial Physics Scholarship Fund established at Sam Houston State University (, First United Methodist Church of Huntsville, TX ( or the charity of your choice.

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