Columbia and Folly Beach, South Carolina – John P. Wilson passed away on June 9, 2022, after 81 years of a marvelous life. He was warm, generous, and hard-working, known by his friends as Jack and by his loved ones (and fellow boaters) as Cappy.
He was born in Washington D.C. as the son of the late John and Ruth Wilson and predeceased by his brother Gary. He grew up in multiple places including Silver Spring, Maryland, and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
He received his BA at the University of South Carolina in Political Science and his Doctorate at USC Law School. He enjoyed and thrived in two concurrent 30-plus year careers; one as an Attorney for the Office of the Attorney General of South Carolina and the other as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He retired from the first career as Executive Assistant for Civil Law/Deputy Attorney General and the second as a Lieutenant Colonel, USMC Reserves.
He was very blessed to retire from both careers by the age of 52 where he set out to explore and delight in his interests and passions. He enjoyed photography, model railroading, karaoke, playing cards, and dancing. But despite these pleasurable activities his love for the water was the most meaningful and fulfilling. He was an avid boater and a member of the United States Power Squadrons (USPS), where he put his law skills to service and held multiple offices including National Government and Partner Relations Chairman, Special Assistant for Governmental Affairs, and National Law Officer. He was awarded the prestigious “Life Member” Award for his 25 years of meritorious service to the USPS.
While a member of the USPS and Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC), he boated over 8,000 miles onboard his beloved American Tug, The MV Cappy’s Caper. He went from Key West to the St Lawrence River and sailed the entire Erie Canal and all the Great Lakes except Superior. Everywhere he boated he made fast friends with his outgoing and full-of-life demeanor. He was awarded the coveted GLCC “Commodore’s Trophy” three years in a row for the distances he boated.
He is survived by his children Tad, Sharon, and Lisa and their spouses, his stepchildren Robyn and Brian and their spouses, and his nine grandchildren. In spite of all his accomplishments in life, he always said his family was his true legacy and the greatest source of his pride and joy. He was loved dearly by all of them and their lives were enriched by his guidance, direction, example and most of all his love.
A military memorial service will be held at the Beaufort National Cemetery in late July or August. Details to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his honor to one of the following:
- Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society
- United States Power Squadrons Educational Fund
- University of South Carolina School of Law
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.mcalister-smith.com.
In closing, we appropriately celebrate his life with his favorite sign-off…
“’Tis better to soar on the wings of an eagle but for one hour than to live the life of a pigeon for a thousand years.”Jack Wilson