1999 MPA President, Hall of Famer Dies

In Association News On

Robert Wood Wilson, 78, of Milan, Missouri passed away Sunday, April 14, 2013 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO.

 Robert was born March 29, 1935 in Centerville, Iowa to Robert and Bertha (Wood) Wilson of Milan.

Bob Wilson began working for his father, Robert M. Wilson, at The Milan Standard when he was still in grade school. He hauled coal from the back room and swept out the shop and melted type to make pigs.

He is survived by his wife, Suzie, of the home, a sister, Mary Ann Clark and husband Charley Clark of Milan, brother-in-law, Jim Sears and wife Gina of Peoria, Arizona.

Preceding him in death were his parents, one brother, David Wilson, one sister-in-law, Elizabeth Sears.

While in High School, he participated in football, basketball, track and loved driving his Model A Touring car.

Following graduation from Milan High School, in 1953, Bob attended University of Missouri pledging the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

He graduated from the University of Missouri with a business degree in 1959. His love of the Mizzou Tigers remained with him the rest of his life.

Five years later he became partner, editor and publisher of The Milan Standard. He later became publisher of the Green City Press and Linn Co. Leader and co-publisher of the Marceline Press. He owned Wilson Publishing Company which published accounting booklets for tax records.

On November 27, 1985 he married Suzie (Sears) Welch, celebrating their 27th anniversary in 2012.

Over the years, Robert has kept up with changes in the community newspaper industry. The Milan Standard was among the first weeklies in Missouri to use offset printing and computer typesetting. He believes his paper was the first weekly in the country to earn a postage discount for putting barcodes on address labels. Years ago he and Dennis Miles created a computer program for mailing the paper.

Robert served on the board of Missouri Press Association for nearly 20 years, and he served as president in 1999. He was named to the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He was a lifetime member of the Missouri Alumni Association. He has been active in state, regional and national newspaper organizations for decades.

On the local level, Bob has served as President of the Milan Chamber of Commerce, President of the Milan Rotary Club where he was honored by receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award in June 1998 and was named 2010 Rotarian of the Year (Milan Chapter), member of the Milan Elks Club, State Historical Society of Missouri Board of Trustees, United Missouri Bank Board, Secretary of the Sullivan County Industrial Development Corporation, Secretary of Modern Development Corporation Real Estate Developer, Charter member of Milan Jaycees, Past Chairman of the Milan City Planning Commission, former member of Trenton Junior College Mid-Management Advisory Board of Directors and other local organizations.

He was also a District Director on the Missouri University Alumni Board for 6 years. He was an Elder in the Milan Presbyterian Church and Parish Council secretary-treasurer. He was a member of the Sullivan County Country Club and past president, a 37-year member of Country Club of Missouri in Columbia, member and secretary of Seaman Lodge A.F.& A.M., Milan, former member of Moila Shrine in St. Joseph, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at MU and a member of the SAE House Corporation. He and Ralph Hatcher started the Milan Old Timers Reunion in May of 1985.

Following church services at the United Presbyterian Church on Sunday, April 14, 2013, he and Suzie went to Kansas City. Robert became ill and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital and died unexpectedly while undergoing heart tests.

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 19, 2013 at the Milan Methodist Church at 3:00 pm. Visitation will be from 1:00 pm. to 3:00 pm.

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