According to friends, “J.D. Wilson was a honorable man. A man of his word… he kept his and he expected you to keep yours. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He was a good friend.”
J.D. Wilson added to the fun and adventure of those around him. Years ago, driving to Crescent Junction, he passed a Utah State patrolman who proceeded to flash his lights. J.D. drove over the hill, pulled to the right side of the road and put his labrador hunting dog, Moon, behind the wheel. The officer approached the vehicle and asked J.D. if he knew how fast he was traveling? J.D. said no. The officer said he had clocked the vehicle at 15 mph over the speed limit. Moon gave the officer a friendly lick in the face and J.D. replied he had told the dog not to drive so fast. The officer just shook his head and retreated to his patrol car.
J.D. was born in Snyder, Texas on Oct. 10, 1926 to Emmitt (Shorty) and Ruth Wilson.
He served two years as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne at the end of World War II.
Riding his motorcycle around Sundown, Texas, J.D. caught the eye of his future bride and soul mate, Dorothy Faye Wilson. They were married four years later in Big Spring, Texas, on Sept. 15, 1947. The friendship and romance endured for 63 years
He established C&W Contracting in Farmington, N.M. in 1954 and relocated the business to Moab, Utah in 1962. His company built roads and locations for oil and uranium companies in southeast Utah. In fact, J.D. had a role in building many of the backcountry roads traveled by the public today. He sold the business in the 1970s.
J.D. was known as an excellent and highly skilled bush pilot. His brother, Morris Wilson, taught him to fly planes. He used his piloting skills to fly his crews into difficult and remote locations and to take his “Dottie” to Vegas to beat the house odds. According to local legend, on one occasion, much to the consternation of officials, he landed his plane north of town adjacent to U.S. 191, below the Sunset Grill.
After retirement, J.D. and Dottie spent their next 35 winters keeping warm and fishing for bass in Mazatlan, Mexico. No one loved the outdoors more than J.D. He fished with friends from the Sea of Cortez to the Artic Circle. He hooked a fisherman’s dream, landing a trophy-size Blue Marlin on one of his many fishing excursions. Many days were spent at Lake Powell fishing and water skiing. In the fall, the hunt by horseback or ATV in the La Sal Mountains was for elk, wild turkey and grouse and on the Colorado River for geese. He was an avid gardener and his neighbors will miss the bounty he shared every fall.
J.D. was preceded in death by his parents, Emmitt and Ruth Wilson, and his sister, Inez Cantrell, of Farmington, N.M.
He is survived by his spouse, Dorothy, and their daughter, Jhonnie Taylor, and her husband, Robert (Bob) Taylor, and grandson, Jon Taylor, of Fayetteville, Ark.; grandson, Robert Dale Taylor, and his wife, Tracey, Springdale, Ark.; granddaughter, Meagan Taylor, Greenland, Ark.; great-grandchildren, Baylee Hall, Alexia and McKenzie Taylor; his brother, Morris Wilson, Farmington, N.M.; and cousin, Lena Faye Crow, Farmington, N.M.
Memorial services were held at the Community Church on Feb. 11. The family would like to thank Grand County Hospice Services, especially Tracy Harris and Crystal Emery, for their kind and gentle care for J.D. during his final days.