Oscar Bryan Wilson, Jr.
Dr. Oscar B. Wilson, Jr., formerly of Monterey, Calif., passed away at The Summit Assisted Care Facility in Austin on Dec. 18, 2010 – a victim of Parkinson’s disease. He was born on Aug. 15, 1922, in Lockhart, Texas, the oldest of five children born to O.B. Wilson, Sr., and Nina. He graduated from Lockhart High School in 1940 and, after graduating from the University of
Texas with a degree in physics, was commissioned in the U.S. Navy.
During WWII, as a Navy lieutenant, Oscar was an air crew member as an Electronic Surveillance Officer. When relieved from active duty, he continued his education at UCLA, where he earned a PhD in physics in 1951; subsequently, he was employed for five years as a member of the technical staff of Hughes Aircraft Co. in Los Angeles and was involved in research and development associated with his special interest in the broad field of acoustics.
Oscar continued his affiliation with the Navy in its reserve component and retired with the rank of Commander.
Because of Oscar’s desire to be involved in teaching, he accepted a position on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, which provides graduate training to selected officers, awarding masters and doctorate degrees. He was involved in both teaching and research. His research involved the areas of elastic and inelastic properties of materials, underwater acoustics and acoustic transducer design.
He was an author of technical books and papers, which he presented at professional symposia. He held the Chairmanship of his department from 1989. Oscar was also active in consulting in architectural acoustics and noise control and a partner in the consulting firm Sound Advice.
Having become fluent in the French language, he was a visiting scientist to the Instut Superieur d’Electronique duNord in Lille, France, from 1989-1990, in sabbatical status. He was honored by the French Acoustical Society with their silver medal, awarded each year to an internationally recognized foreign acoustical scientist for interactions with French acousticians. The la medaille ‘argent for 1992 was presented to him at a meeting of Societe Francaise d’acoustique held in Tours, France, on Nov. 25, 1992.
While Oscar was an acclaimed scientist, he held genuine interests in music, aviation and automobiles. He was an impressive pianist. He was also an instrument-rated pilot who owned numerous aircraft, having sold his plane, a Beechcraft, fewer than four years ago. He was an enthusiastic sports car driver, racing two cars in Sports Car Club of America events from 1965-1977 at most of the race tracks on the West Coast, with family members as pit crew. He also kept a small collection of classic Jaguar sports cars.
Oscar was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Marion Spencer Gould; a brother, Norman; and a sister, Vivian.
Oscar is survived by three children, Bryan Paul Wilson and wife, Sylvia, of Boston, Dr. Clark R. Wilson and wife, Ellen, of Austin, and, Warren S. Wilson and wife, Rosa, of Austin; his grandchildren: Bryan J. Wilson and Laurent C. Wilson, of Boston, Kirsten F. Wilson, Sissel F. Wilson, Ashley S. Wilson and Brett D. Wilson, all of Austin; and great-grandchild, Keegan Wilson, of Austin. Survivors also include a brother, Col. Harold “Hank” Wilson and wife, Audrey, of Lockhart; sister Barbara L. Kaehey and husband, Jim, of Austin; and numerous cousins including Forrest M. “Jack” Wilson and wife, Kathy, of Lockhart.
A celebration of Oscar’s life was held at The Presbyterian Life Center on the afternoon of Dec. 29, 2010.