Aug. 8, 1943 – Nov. 14, 2021
Simon George “Skip” Wilson was born on August 8, 1943 and passed away peacefully on November 14, 2021. He was born and raised in Orofino, Idaho, the second of four boys for parents Bernard “Barney” and Margaret “Midge” Wilson. His brothers included Bernard “Buster”, Victor “Jim”, and Michael “Jack” Wilson.
Skip grew up playing and making memories with his brothers and neighborhood friends on Riverside. He loved to be outdoors and enjoyed being in the woods, passions that lasted his entire life. He loved sports where he excelled in both basketball and baseball through his college years and was said to be a tremendous athlete by those who watched him play.
He graduated from Orofino High School in 1961 and attended Lewis-Clark Normal School (now Lewis-Clark State College) in Lewiston before moving on to the University of Idaho where he earned his Idaho teaching credentials and graduated with majors in English and social studies.
While in college he married Janice Berger.
Skip played both basketball and baseball while attending Lewis-Clark. He was a member of Lewis-Clark’s first baseball team in 1962, and for many years he held the school record in basketball at L-C for having the highest free throw percentage.
His baseball skills earned him a tryout with the Spokane Indians professional baseball team in 1962. He was invited back for a second tryout in 1963, but passed on the opportunity and instead elected to attend the U of I and start his family.
Skip and Janice had three children: Shawn, Wade, and Jeff. Although they later divorced, Skip assumed the role as the primary caregiver and continued to raise all three kids.
After college graduation he returned to Orofino where he spent 33 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Orofino School District. He began his career as a teacher at Orofino Junior High before moving to Orofino High School to teach social studies. He served for several years as the Maniac’s head basketball coach and head baseball coach, and spent many years coaching his kid’s little league baseball teams. During the summers he worked for the US Forest Service.
Skip earned his Master’s Degree in School Administration at the U of I. He then spent a year as the principal at Orofino Junior High before moving back to OHS where he spent nine years as principal. He retired from Idaho in 1998 and moved to Washington where he served three years as the principal at Garfield-Palouse, spent a year working at Washington State University, and spent a year as the principal at Garfield MS. He returned to live in Orofino and spent three years working part-time as the principal at Nezperce. He retired for good after a 40-year career as an educator in 2007.
During retirement Skip tried golf for the first time. He immediately embraced the activity and began to golf with his buddies almost daily when local courses were open. He continued his love of sports as both a volunteer and spectator. He sponsored local athletes in their fundraising endeavors and donated regularly to USA Olympics. He served as the treasurer for Orofino Legion Baseball, served on the “chain gang” for University of Idaho football games, and was a member of various service organizations over the years. He was generous with both his time and money. He loved to golf, travel to watch and support his children and grandchildren, watch sports live and on TV, ride ATV’s and do just about anything outdoors. He liked to read, complete crossword puzzles, and study history. He demonstrated an incredible recall for people and events.
His nurturing nature and attributes for loyalty and responsibility continued to be demonstrated following his mother’s stroke in 2008, where he and his brothers embraced the role as full-time caregivers for her so that she could remain at home until her passing in 2017.
Skip was preceded in death by his parents, Barney and Midge, and brothers, Buster and Jim.
He is survived by his children: Shawn (and Greg McCracken, Clarkston), Wade (and Angi Wilson, Weiser), Jeff (and Mary Wilson, Orofino/Montesano); 13 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and his brother Jack Wilson (Orofino).
Funeral services are planned for Pine Hills Funeral Chapel in Orofino at 1 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021.