Paul Thomas Wilson Jr., 88, died Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020 at his home in Woodstock, Ill., of natural causes. He was surrounded by family and friends in his last days and weeks and was able to express his love for them and their love for him.
He leaves his wife of 70 years, Laila (Hansen) Wilson; his sons, Paul Wilson III, Tim Wilson, Todd Wilson; his daughters, Linda Hansen, Greta Engholm; 17 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren; and many close friends.
Born in Chicago, the son of Paul Sr. and Ruth (Leidholm) Wilson, he was a lifelong resident of the greater Chicagoland area. Most recently, and for the past 52 years, Paul lived in Woodstock.
Paul met his wife, Laila Hansen, at South Park Church in 1949, and they were married Nov. 10, 1950. in Park Ridge, Ill. Companions for life, their fortune is their children, their hope is in Jesus Christ. They loved each other well.
Mr. Wilson was an entrepreneur. He took over the family business, Wilson & Co., a carpet cleaning and needlepoint rug business in Chicago, in the early ’60s. It was started by his grandfather, John Forrester Wilson, in 1885. In 1969 he moved his family from Barrington Hills, Ill., to a 150-acre farm in Woodstock. A novice at farming, he raised beef cattle, pigs, sheep, and grew crops. He loved a challenge. Paul was capable of many things but would seek knowledge from books as well as people if he were unsure of a task. He was a constant learner.
Paul also built custom homes throughout his career. His most unique build was a chalet on Mount Princeton for a Young Life camp called Frontier Ranch. In 1960, Paul took his young family on a year’s sabbatical to Buena Vista, Colo. He was a builder for the camp where the family lived in a log cabin at the foot of the mountains.
Of all the things Mr. Wilson successfully accomplished in his life on earth, his most life changing decision was placing his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his savior. Paul is now in his heavenly home made especially for him and will spend eternity in the presence of God. His desire would be for all to also place their faith and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross for the redemption of their sins and not in anything else. His redeemer is faithful and true.
A funeral service will be held Jan. 16 at the Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake. Visitation will be at 1 p.m. and a service following at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Samaritans Purse or the Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake.