Donald Wilson (September 24, 1941 - January 12, 2022)

In loving memory of
Donald Wilson
  • September 24, 1941
  • -
  • January 12, 2022

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Donald Michael Wilson, 80, of Orlando passed away on January 12, 2022.  Don was born in Yonkers, NY on September 24, 1941, the first son of Horace C. and Catherine Kehlenbeck Wilson.  Don’s family moved to Eau Gallie, FL in 1956.  After graduating from Melbourne High School in 1959 Don attended the University of Florida where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism.  He joined the Air Force in 1964.  The day after he received his commission as 2nd Lt, Don married Dorothy (Dottye) Shenberger at Lackland AFB, TX in May 1964.  Don and Dottye were stationed at Sembach AFB, Germany from 1964-1967 and England AFB, Alexandria, LA from 1967-1968.  After leaving the Air Force as Captain in 1968, Don returned to journalism as the Jacksonville Times Union’s Bureau Chief for Northeast, FL and Southeast, GA.  He went to work for the Savannah Morning News as an investigative reporter in 1971 and later that year began a 34 year career with the Orlando Sentinel as an editor and in his dream job as outdoors writer for 25 years.  Don was passionate in his writing about preserving Florida’s natural wonders and wildlife.  He was honored with the Conservation Communicator of the Year Aware by the Florida Wild Life Federation and the National Wildlife Federation in 1997 which was one of his proudest moments at the Sentinel.

Don was predeceased by his son, Donald Michael, Jr. and his sister Katherine.

He is survived by his spouse, Theresa Gibbs, his son Charles (Melissa), grandsons Alexander, Ethan and Liam, sister Agnes, brother Thomas (Andrea) and niece Rebecca (Ben) Woolbright.

A funeral Mass will be held, at 10:00AM February 10th at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1501 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL followed by internment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Ocala, FL.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Florida Wildlife Federation.  Arrangement by Baldwin Brother Funeral & Cremation Society, Orlando.

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