Wilton Leland Wilson, devoted husband, beloved father and grandpa entered into eternal rest September 16, 2016, at home surrounded by family and friends. Leland, age 88, has lived in San Marcos since 1959.
Leland was born October 17, 1928, in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, to Keith Wilson and Bonnie (Martin) Wilson and had a brother, Roy Vance. At age 11 Leland moved to Donna, Texas, where his mother met and married Melvin Washer who adopted Leland and Roy. Leland's life in Donna was now with a family of four step-siblings who he always thought of as real brothers and sisters.
Leland attended Donna public schools and his leadership skills began to show at an early age. He was class president all four high school years, president of the Hi-Y club and president of the Student Council for two years. He was also a member of the Quill and Scroll Club, a band officer for two years, editor of the War Hoop in 1946 and sports editor in 1947. Team quarterback and co-captain for the Donna Redskins, he was twice selected to the All Valley football team and in his senior year the All South Texas football team. Leland was the 1947 Donna High School class Valedictorian. The subject of his commencement address was "Peace Through Understanding".
Leland attended Texas A&I University and graduated magnum cum laude in 1951 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He then earned his Master of Science degree from the same institution in 1959. He and the family moved to Arkansas where he completed a Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas in 1969. He enlisted in the Texas National Guard in 1947 as Private and retired in 1970 with a rank of Major.
Leland served in many roles at Southwest Texas State University (Texas State University) beginning in 1959 when he was assistant registrar. After receiving his Ph.D., he returned to San Marcos and SWT where he was a tenured professor in the business department until his retirement in 2000. Leland was the first Dean of the School of Business and served in that capacity from 1970-1978. During his career he served as assistant to the president, acting department chair, chairman of the department of business and on numerous committees. He was president of the Lone Star Football Conference in the early 1970's.
Leland was active in the San Marcos community where he was a Board member of the Central Texas Higher Education Authority and of the Texas Pioneer Foundation and President of the Hays County Teacher Credit Union. He was a Deacon and long-time member of the First Baptist Church. After his retirement he served as a neighborhood representative to the City of San Marcos.
Leland is preceded in death by his wife Billie Jean (Clark) Wilson, Bonnie Martin Washer (mother), Melvin Washer (stepfather), Keith Wilson (father), Roy V. Wilson (brother) and his step siblings.
He is survived by son David Leland (Vicki), daughter Sara (Lorette), Grandchildren Chesney Woods (Trey), Chantry Vander Zee (Jacob), Cade Wilson (Chelsea), one great grandson, eight great granddaughters, and two nieces. Leland's "family" extends to a loving group of individuals who cared for him at home during his last years. The family wants to extend a special thanks to all of them, as well as to our wonderful team at Heart to Heart Hospice.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Leland's Texas State University scholarship fund to support business students. Checks should be made to the "Leland Wilson Scholarship Endowment Fund" at Texas State University and mailed to Advancement Services, 601 University Drive, JCK 480, San Marcos, Texas 78666-4684. Memorials may also be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
On Friday September 23 at 5:00pm at the First Baptist Church in San Marcos the family will greet friends prior to a memorial service celebrating Leland's life starting at 5:30pm. Family members will gather earlier for a private interment at the San Marcos Cemetery. For more information, call Thomason Funeral Home at 512-396-2300 or visit www.thomasonfuneralhome.com to sign the guest book.