Longtime Alaska resident James Pierson Wilson died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2000, at his home in Ninilchik of natural causes. He was 72.
A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Ninilchik Fairgrounds, with a potluck dinner following.
Mr. Wilson was born Nov. 27, 1928, in Gallup, McKinley County, N.M., where he graduated from the local high school. He moved to Alaska in June 1957 and always lived in Ninilchik.
Mr. Wilson worked for Frontier Construction in the early 1960s. He pulled some of the early "cat trains" that hauled supplies for oil exploration on the North Slope.
He also worked for the Alaska Department of Highways, owned the Inlet View Construction Company, and operated the Inlet View Lounge and Restaurant in Ninilchik for many years. He retired in 1993.
Mr. Wilson was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and was very active in the community.
He and a few neighbors built the first rodeo grounds in Alaska at Happy Valley. In 1997, he moved the whole rodeo facility to the Ninilchik Fairgrounds. He loved to fish and spend time on the beach. Mr. Wilson spent every fall moose hunting on his horse and loved to read books about history.
"Dad loved the outdoors and riding his horse," his family said. "He was always willing to help the people in the community and was loved by his neighbors and friends and will be truly, sadly missed.
Mr. Wilson is survived by his partner Dorothy Rosga; son and daughter-in-law Tony and Tessa Wilson of Anchorage; daughter and son-in-law Shirley and Richard Schollenberg of Anchor Point; grandchildren Katie and Jason Schollenberg, and Michael and Allen Wilson; two great-grandchildren; and stepdaughter, Janel Rosga.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Ninilchik Fair Association for improvements to the rodeo grounds at P.O. Box 50, Ninilchik, AK 99639.
Arrangements were by the Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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