Donald Erwin Wilson Rear Admiral, United States Navy

From contemporary press reports:

Donald Erwin Wilson, 69, a retired Navy Rear Admiral who from 1988 to 2001 owned and operated Fishing World, a bait and fishing supply shop in Alexandria, Virginia, died of cancer February 3, 2002, at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Admiral Wilson, a Springfield, Virginia,  resident, settled in the Washington area after retiring from the Navy in 1987 after 32 years of service.

His memberships included St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Springfield, Springfield Golf and Country Club and the Military Order of the Carabao.

He was born in Taylor County, Wisconsin, and grew up in Coronado, California. He was a 1955 accounting graduate of San Diego State University and received a master's degree in management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He also was a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

His Navy career included service in Vietnam during the war there. His final active-duty assignment was commander of the Navy resale and services support office in Staten Island, New York.

His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star with combat “V” and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Leanna Draper Wilson of Springfield; three children, Pamela von Bredow of Fairfax, Elizabeth Peterson of Alexandria and Douglas Wilson of Waldorf; his mother, Gladys Wilson of Coronado; two brothers; and eight grandchildren.

February 22, 2002

Equipped with an accounting degree from San Diego State College, Donald E. Wilson began a 32-year Navy career in 1955 that saw him rise to Rear Admiral.

By the time he retired as commander of Navy Resale and Services Support in Staten Island, New York, he had served a tour in Vietnam and won a Distinguished Service Medal and Bronze Star with a combat V.

Admiral Wilson, a Springfield, Virginia., resident in recent years, died February 3, 2002, at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. He was 69.

The cause of death was cancer, said son-in-law Alan Peterson.

Born in Taylor County, Wisconsin, Admiral Wilson moved with his family to Coronado at age 9. In 1950, he graduated from Coronado High School, where he excelled on the Islanders football team.

After graduating from San Diego State and joining the Navy, he served aboard the attack transport Noble. He was assigned to Miramar Naval Air Station from 1957 to 1960 as a supply officer of an air service squadron.

During the Vietnam War, he served as an adviser to the chief of the supply corps of the Vietnamese navy in Saigon in 1971 and 1972.

His overseas decorations included a Vietnam Gallantry Cross with a Palm unit citation.

Admiral Wilson reported to Washington, D.C., in 1973 as assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for installations and logistics. After an assignment in Gaeta, Italy, he returned to Washington – this time as executive aide to the deputy chief of material for logistics.

In 1977, he was appointed commanding officer of the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia.

The final six years of his career found him at the Navy Resale and Services Support Office at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island. NAVRESSO, as it is called, provides technical guidance and administrative assistance to ships' store operations.

During his military career, he attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and earned a master's degree in financial management at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Admiral Wilson retired from active duty in 1987. From 1988 until two years ago, he owned and operated Fishing World, a bait and fishing supply shop in Alexandria, Virginia.

Survivors include his wife, Leanna; daughters, Pamela von Bredow of Fairfax, Va. and Elizabeth Peterson of Alexandria, Virginia.; son, Douglas Wilson of Waldorf, Maryland; his mother, Gladys Wilson of Coronado; brothers, William of Milwaukie, Oregon, and James of Ajax, Ontario, Canada; and eight grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. today at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Springfield, Virginia. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment