Wilson – William D. “Bill”
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of William (Bill) Wilson of Niagara Falls, New York. Bill passed away peacefully on October 1, 2022 surrounded by his beloved family. Son of Ruth (Thomas) (Murray) MacDonald and Robert Wilson. He died at the age of 87, leaving behind his beloved wife Charlene Ann (Reeh) Wilson, 62, and three children, Donna (Steve) Fournier of Niagara Falls and Lori (Mike) Rozanski of Niagara Falls and Kevin (Gina) Wilson of Hoxing, Delaware. He is the loving grandfather of Michael Rozanski, Michelle Rozanski, Chelsea Rozanski, Zachary Rozanski, William Fournier, Rachel Fournier, Christopher Wilson and Monica Joy Imbrenda and twelve great-grandchildren. Family is at the heart of Bill and he loves spending time with all of them. He is known for his sense of humor and loves to make his grandsons and great-grandchildren laugh. Bill served in the Navy and then went on to work with Local 129, the Plumbers and Steam Assemblers Union, as a welder and foreman on numerous construction sites in the area. Bill, who served on the local executive committee and is seen as a male leader, was instrumental in crafting pension reforms that still benefit members today. After retirement, Bill was able to pursue his passion for art full-time. His distinguished career as an artist began at Niagara County Community College, where he studied painting, apprenticed with Canadian portraitist Thomas Kelly, and studied portrait sculpture with Paul Atkins at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Ultimately, Bill’s talent found a home in sculpture. His work can be found throughout the United States, Europe and Canada, including the Homer Watson Art Museum, the Wedgwood Jewellery Collection in the UK, the International Silver Company, Madame Tussauds, private collections, galleries and exhibitions. Bill chaired the Niagara-on-the-Lake Arts Society for nearly two decades. He has generously donated his work and time to many non-profit organizations and taught sculpture painting at Niagara University and sculptural techniques in different materials for many art groups. Bill is particularly proud to receive the Burchfield-Penney Arts Center’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. Active in the art world, Bill is a member of the Buffalo Artists Guild and a founding member of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC), which houses his studio and has enriched venues and galleries with his sculptures over the years. Bill has been called the “herd doctor” for the Niagara Arts Council’s public art project “About Buffalo’s Herds,” repairing damaged or destroyed buffaloes, and contributing several of his own Elvis, Ph.D. Jerry and Bart Simpson. The grounds of the Knox Art Gallery in Albright are decorated with a whimsical giant 10-foot colorful “tinker toy” style bird. He has been commissioned to create sculptures for Snapple Tea Company, WNED, Channel 17 in Buffalo, Sisters of Mercy in Buffalo, and many other organizations and private collections. Bill finds beauty and glamour in everyday objects. His generosity of time and talent is immeasurable. Bill’s sense of humor and gentle and humble spirit will be remembered by the many people he touched. In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the Artists Group of Western New York at 1 Lynnwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY or other local artist organization. The visit will be held on Friday, October 7th at the LANE FUNERAL HOME, 8622 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, New York, from 3:00pm to 5:45pm. A funeral with military honors will take place immediately after the visit at 5:45 pm.
Published by The Buffalo News in October. May 5, 2022.