Douglas Bruce Wilson, age 76, died on March 15, 2017, in his daughter's home in Madison, Wisconsin after battling Lewy Body Dementia for several years.
He was born in Norfolk, NE on August 1, 1940 to parents Bruce Howard and Alice Lena (Herfel) Wilson. Bruce, Alice, Doug, and Doug's sister Josie moved frequently during his childhood as Bruce was in the Navy during World War II. They lived in many cities in California and later in post-war occupied Japan. After Japan, they returned to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1949. He attended Lincoln Northeast High School and graduated in 1958. He excelled at swimming and won state championships in freestyle and medley during his high school years.
After high school, Doug enlisted in the Marines and served from 1958 to 1962. After his military service, he followed his interest in art and spent time in New York City. There, he married Yana Meteja. They had two daughters: Naya and Lisa. Sadly, Naya died in infancy. Yana and Douglas eventually divorced. He returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, and started what would be a 35-year long career delivering mail for the United States Postal Service. In Lincoln, he met and married Carolyn Theresa Haar, and they had three children. Together, they raised Lisa, Anne, Kate and John-Paul. Doug frequently remarked later that those were some of the happiest years of his life. He was an energetic and involved father; he took the kids and their cousins on countless trips to the pool, camping, or tubing on the Platte River. Eventually he and Carolyn divorced in 1997.
Shortly thereafter, Doug re-kindled his love of artwork, and produced a large body of paintings that focused on historical figures. He also moved to downtown Lincoln, where he became a regular in many coffee houses and bars, with perpetual energy for conversation, card games, crossword puzzles, and playing pool. He frequently wrote letters to the editor of the Lincoln newspaper, chiming in on matters of local politics. In 2008, he started struggling with a tremor, and he was diagnosed with Parkinson's. However, this was actually the start of Lewy Body Dementia (a disease similar Parkinson's), and in 2012, he moved to Madison, WI, to be closer to family. He spent two years in a retirement community in Madison, where he found much value in new friendships. In 2014, he moved to Syverson Lutheran Home in Eau Claire, WI, where Kate was living at the time, which provided him with more help as the disease progressed. Throughout his life, Doug had a fierce sense of independence, yet also thrived with close social connections. His love of art and creative thought permeated most everything he did, and he was truly an individual.
He is survived by his children, daughters Lisa Nicole Phillips (Stanley Phillips), Anne Teresa Wilson (Daniel Rogge), and Kate Elizabeth Wilson (Brian Doxsie), and his son John-Paul Wilson (Jessica Wilson); his sister Josie Diane Anderson (George Anderson); his 5 grand-children. Special thanks to Carolyn Haar, who remained involved in his life and helped greatly during his final weeks.
A memorial service will be held in Lincoln, NE, on April 8, 2017. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to receive details on this service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to LBDA.org or to the Nature Conservancy (working to protect the Platte River).
Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
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