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Farewell Fr. Jack — scholar and friend

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Sunny South News

We met Fr. Jack Wilson, CSB in 1994-2003, when he would fill in at our parish in Coaldale when St. Ambrose was short of priests.

Lydia and I joined him for dinner at Luigi’s and other restaurants after Mass.

Fr. Jack attended St. Michael’s College in Toronto from 1939-40 to acquire his BA degree. The following year he entered the Basilian Novitiate and made his first profession in 1941. He taught high school for two years and returned to Toronto for theological studies and was ordained in 1947.

Fr. Jack taught at Basilian High Schools in Detroit, MI, and Rochester, NY, before being sent to teach mathematics at Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge, AB, from 1958-94.

After retiring from teaching he was promoted to Superior Administrator at the Dillon House, Houston, TX, for about 10 years. His Order would not allow him to drive after age 90.

Every year, for about seven years, he would meet us for dinner in Lethbridge when he arrived on vacation from Houston and celebrated my birthday at The Keg.

He drove for eight hours during daylight and took him about a week to get to Edmonton where his sister and nephew lived.

We also met him at Manitou Beach, SK, where he enjoyed the mineral water and spent the weekend for a swim. Fr. Jack and I would climb the steep hills at Manitou Beach when he was in his early ‘80s.

He was an avid golfer and would carry his golf clubs on his shoulder. While there he visited his brother Bernie on the farm near Shaunavon, SK.

Before Fr. Jack was transferred to Houston, TX, he sold us his 1994 Buick Century and the Order replaced it with a new Toyota Matrix.

In 2010, his failing health after the Dillon House at Houston brought him to Anglin House in Toronto to be with his fellow Basilian Fathers.

On Holy Thursday, March 29, 2018, he died at the age of 99.

When I read his obituary in the Lethbridge Herald I felt unhappy and began to pray for the repose of his soul.

The Liturgy of the Hours read “Those who are learned – will be as radiant as the sky in all it’s beauty; those who instruct the people in goodness will shine like the stars for all eternity”.


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