Los Alamos resident Lt. Col. Norman G. Wilson, age 89, passed away at his home on November 24, 2021 with his wife Barbara Jean Wilson and family at his side.
Norm was born and was raised in Lawrence, KS where he graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Engineering Physics. He also worked with his parents Delbert and Fern Wilson on the family farm and at their Mobil bulk oil distribution service. Shortly after graduation, Norm joined the US Air Force as an officer and was assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base, where he served for 28 years (active and reserve) in activities related to securing and maintaining the USAF nuclear capability. He retired from the Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also served as the New Mexico Liaison to the US Air Force Academy.
Following his USAF active duty tour, Norm worked at the University of New Mexico on shock tube instrumentation, then he joined the staff of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory where he became a pioneer in advanced instrumentation supporting experimental reactor development and laser fusion programs. He then turned his focus to high performance linear accelerators as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Norm also spent about a decade with EG&G in San Ramon, CA supporting innovative instrumentation for the US nuclear weapons testing program.
After he left LANL he could be found championing dog welfare in Santa Fe when the legislature was in session. Norm was an active member at the United Church of Los Alamos where he served as a treasured elder. For many years Norm was an active member of the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club and earned many titles on his rescued Keeshonds. He was an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. Norman was very active in the local chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW), and could often be seen at the monthly Los Alamos Cowboy Breakfasts at the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years Barbara Jean (Hillhouse) Wilson, daughter Sandra Wilson and her husband Mark, son Scott Wilson and his wife Anne along with their son Alex, and son John Wilson and his wife Patricia.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in the sanctuary of the United Church of Los Alamos, 2525 Canyon Road. An informal reception will follow in Graves Hall to celebrate the life that Norman shared with us. He will be interred in the family plot at Guaje Pines Cemetery. If you wish, donations may be sent to your favorite dog rescue charity organization.