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James “Jim” Darwin Wilson 1943-2015

Melanie Colón

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James “Jim” Darwin Wilson Jefferson City July 25, 1943 - November 2, 2015

James Darwin "Jim" Wilson, 72, of Jefferson City, passed away Monday November 2, 2015, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born on July 25, 1943, to Wayne and Neva Wilson in Spencer Iowa. Jim Wilson married Marsha Hubacher on August 17, 1969, in Estherville, Iowa. Jim graduated high school in Milford, Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Science and Masters in Zoology from Iowa State University. He studied and worked along with his wife Marsha in Iowa, Colorado, and California before living in Missouri. For 24 years, Jim was the state ornithologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. During this time he reintroduced and protected bald eagles, peregrine falcons, ospreys and trumpeter swans in the state of Missouri. He enjoyed studying the birds of Missouri and educating the public through publications, television programs, and presentations. From his early youth, he was an artist and illustrator. He wrote and illustrated many articles for the Missouri Conservationist Magazine. Using his extensive experience as an ornithologist, he authored two bird identification books, illustrating over 90 species with his own paintings. After retiring from the Conservation Department, Jim's desire to educate led him to teach biology courses, first at William Woods University and later at Columbia College. Jim was an avid traveler, visiting every state in the union and over 35 countries across five continents. He loved to learn and sought to understand his place in the natural world as well as his place in history through genealogy. A lover of the outdoors, Jim was active with his two sons in the Boy Scouts. And he enjoyed everything from floating the rivers of Missouri and the fjords of New Zealand, to hiking the moors of Yorkshire. He enjoyed sharing his love of nature through presenting bird programs and leading bird walks around Missouri as well as many naturalist tours to Costa Rica. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City, Mo. and a board member of the River Bluffs Audubon Society. Jim will be remembered as an avid naturalist and constant educator. He was also a world traveler, musician, writer, dedicated husband, father and friend. He will be missed enormously by his wife Marsha of Jefferson City and sons Christopher (fiancÈe Megan Hussey) of Columbia and Corey of Dalian, China; three brothers, Wendell Wilson, South Carolina; Bryce Wilson, Texas; Keith Wilson, Iowa. His enthusiasm for the natural world will live on through the many lives he has touched.



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