Obituary of Jon Stephen Wilson
Jon Stephen Wilson, 75, of State College, died Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Juniper Village at Brookline.
Born July 29, 1947, in Troy, PA, he was the son of the late George W. and Lois C. Greenleaf Wilson. On June 17, 1978 he married Elizabeth Klens, who survives. Also surviving are his four children, Michelle M. Ivicic and her husband, Christopher, of Houtzdale, Matthew E. Wilson and his wife, Susan of State College, Jon S. Wilson and his wife, Andrea, of Nashville, TN, Steffan P. Wilson and his wife, Maura, of Berwyn; his two siblings, Jeffery Wilson and his partner Trish Weidemann, of Bellefonte, Sharon Williams and her husband, Robert, of Elmira, NY; and his eight grandchildren: Jeffrey and Justin Ivicic, Joey and Megan Wilson, Drake and Olive Wilson and Ansley and Cullen Wilson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his three sisters, Marlene Morgan, Rebecca Wilson and Judy Howe.
Jon was a 1965 graduate of Troy High School. He played semi-pro football for an affiliate of the Buffalo Bills before joining the United States Air Force in 1966. He served as a Staff Sergeant; a mechanic certified in repair and operation of electrical systems before receiving an honorable discharge in 1972. He later studied architectural engineering at Penn State University.
Jon grew up in north central PA, working on family and neighboring farms, often saying he was raised "50 years behind the times" with few modern conveniences. This led to his life-long interest in history, antiques and restoration techniques as well as farmland preservation. His adventures as an Explorer Scout when in school is part of family legend. He learned the building trades while assisting his father who was a general contractor in Elmira, NY. After college he continued to work as a general contractor based in State College, providing residential and commercial construction along with custom designs and renovations, with projects reaching from communities across Pennsylvania to South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. He began working for Penn State University in 1984 as a customer service representative in the Office of Physical Plant, and later in 1995 served as a supervisor for Facilities Resource Services in Housing and Food Service. Upon his retirement from Penn State in 2007, he created his business: Home Details, providing consultation, design and renovation for select clients in Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA. He was very interested in historic preservation and adaptation of older structures to meet modern commercial or residential requirements. In his pursuit of teaching young people quality construction techniques, he became certified to teach in the field of building construction trades in secondary and post-secondary levels earning his Vocational Education Certificate from Penn State University in 1977.
Throughout his life Jon shared his passion and knowledge of baseball by teaching, coaching and watching youth baseball from Little League levels through State College American Legion baseball; giving individual lessons as well as team instruction in baseball skills and strategies. As his players progressed, he enjoyed watching them play at the college and minor league levels. Family and friends teased him about being known as "Mr. Baseball." In every endeavor, he stressed learning the trade or sport, doing the best quality job possible and always doing the right thing in every circumstance. Jon made a difference in this world for so many.
Jon spent many years as a field maintenance volunteer for State College Babe Ruth Baseball and at the Shaner Baseball Field, believing in creating and maintaining quality sports facilities for community youth programs. In addition, for many years he participated in the State College Community United Way Day of Caring and was also a Life Member of the Penn State Alumni Association. Jon had a lifelong respect and love for the natural world; his children share this and treasure early memories of taking walks with him in the woods and fields near their home. He devoted time to helping his friends and neighbors by plowing snow and mowing lawns and fields with his Steiner. In later years he was an avid golfer – from early spring when snow was still visible on Tussey Mountain through early November, each year.
He was always on call to answer questions and provide advice for family and friends – from renovation projects to his famous macaroni and cheese recipe. Jon loved his family, his dear friends and his cat Bella. He loved to laugh and share stories and he was incredibly proud of his four children.
Visitation will be from 5 until 7 p.m., on Friday, February 17, 2023 at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Arboretum at Penn State, 336 Forest Resources Building University Park, PA 16802-3604.
Online condolences may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com or visit us on Facebook.
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