In Memoriam

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Michael W. Wilson ’63

A picture of Michael Wilson

Michael M. Wilson ’63, January 5, 2012, in Longmont, Colorado, from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Michael studied at Reed for four years, focusing his degree work on sociology. After he left Reed, he entered the U.S. Army’s Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, taking an intensive course in Mandarin Chinese, and completed undergraduate studies with a BA in Chinese history at the University of Southern California (USC). He then traveled to Taiwan—mainland China was not open at the time—where he taught conversational English and immersed himself in studying Chinese. Says his sister, Mary Wilson Callahan, who provided the details for this memorial, “A high point of his time there occurred when Michael, along with his parents, was part of the second tour group of Westerners to visit various cities on the mainland; the group attracted much curious attention wherever they went.” Michael earned a master’s degree in Chinese studies at USC and an MBA at the Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. He did additional graduate work at the University of Washington. Over the years, he worked as an auditor, an accountant, a wealth manager, and a consultant to small Chinese businesses starting up in the Los Angeles area. He was a voracious reader of both literature and nonfiction, including history, politics, and social sciences. His favorite sports were chess and bridge, but he also enjoyed following the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dodgers. “Although Michael was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in Longmont for several years before his death, he was a southern Californian at heart.” He is much missed by his sister and her husband, Joe Callahan, of Longmont, and his brother and sister-in-law, Francis and Francesca Wilson, of Acton, California.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2012

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