Darrel E. Wilson, 93, passed away at home on the evening of March 30 with his wife Bev by his side. Darrel was born in Decatur, Nebraska, December 4, 1926, to Mark and Ethel (Earl) Wilson. He graduated from Decatur High School in 1944 and joined the Navy, serving for two years, including time in the Pacific theater during World War II. After leaving the navy, Darrel enrolled at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, where he played football. He completed college at Wayne State Teacher’s College in Wayne, Nebraska, where he met his wife Beverly Lockmer. They married on August 10 of 1951. After marrying, the couple moved to Greeley, Colorado, where their son Scott was born. A second son Gregg was born in 1955, followed by daughter Sherri in 1957.
Darrell started his teaching career in 1957 in Nevis, MN, teaching math and science, and driver’s training, along with coaching football, basketball and baseball. He also directed several school plays. While in Minnesota he completed a master’s degree through North Dakota State in Fargo. His teaching career moved to Ione, OR, in 1967, where he added biology and small engine mechanics to his math and science curriculum. He was also one of the first in Morrow County to teach computer science. He taught in Ione until his retirement in 1991, after which they moved to North Idaho, living in Post Falls and then Hayden.
Along with his career in education, Darrel was an accomplished carpenter, building two family homes, one in Minnesota and one in Oregon. As a teacher, he supplemented his income by working in carpentry during summers. There is a saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none;” it was said of Darrel that he was a jack of all trades, master of most.
Darrel had numerous hobbies throughout his life, including horseback riding, golf, woodworking, reading, fishing, biking and square dancing. His skill in woodworking included building a boat in Minnesota that the family learned to fish from and ski behind. Shortly after moving to Oregon, he and his wife started a square dance club, where he was the caller for many years. His greatest passion was hunting, which he passed on to all three of his children. His love of hunting led to volunteering with Idaho Fish & Game for many years after his retirement. Darrel’s love of the outdoors kept him riding his bicycle for many years. When he was encouraged by his doctors to give up biking, he switched to a safer 3-wheeled recumbent bike, still riding around the neighborhood up to the week before his death.
Darrel was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ken, his sister Edna Mae, and infant daughter Terri. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Bev, his son Scott (Becky), his son Gregg (Debbie) and daughter Sherri, four granddaughters, and six great grandchildren.
Darrel’s life will be celebrated this coming summer with a family gathering in Eastern Oregon, and his ashes will be spread in one of his favorite hunting areas in the Blue Mountains, near where his brother’s ashes were scattered. Remembrances can be donated in Darrel’s memory to the Parkinson’s Foundation or to Idaho Fish & Game.