Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Woodrow "Woodie" Wilson, 88, died peacefully Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, at his home in Santa Fe, N.M., after a lengthy illness.

Woodie, as he was known to family and friends, was born to Robert Smith Wilson and Bessie Lee Harper in Bernie, Mo., June 22, 1918. He had lived in Santa Fe since 1959.

Woodie spent most of his youth in Cape Girardeau, where he met his wife of 55 years, Betty Jo Schatte, and married her Dec. 24, 1943. World War II interrupted Woodie's education and he didn't return to college again until after the war. He graduated in 1950 with a B.A. from Southeast Missouri State University.

In 1950, Woodie moved his family from Missouri to Carlsbad, N.M. There he taught art several years at Alta Vista Junior High School. Soon he left teaching and went to work for General Adjustment Bureau Inc. GAB Inc. took Woodie and his family from Carlsbad to Hobbs, N.M., and then to Santa Fe, where he became a manager in the business. Later he was transferred to La Jolla, Calif., and then back to Santa Fe, where he quit GAB Inc. and bought McAdoo Gallery in 1975, which was the second oldest gallery in Santa Fe at the time.

Woodie and his wife Betty Jo, and daughter Carol ran the gallery for many years. When Woody closed his gallery in 2000, which had then become Woodrow Wilson Fine Arts Inc., it was the oldest gallery in Santa Fe. Art was Woodie's love, and when he wasn't running his gallery he also loved to paint his own canvases, and was very much an artist in his own right.

Woodie joined the Army in Fort Knox, Ky., in 1942 and also served later in the Merchant Marines. He shipped out of NYC aboard the USS George Washington and later aboard the Excelsior. He served in the Atlantic, Pacific and China/India/Burma campaigns.

Woodie joined the Masonic Order in 1947 and was a member of St. Mark's Lodge 93 in Cape Girardeau. He and his wife were also lifelong members of First United Methodist Church.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Jo, and his daughter, Carole Wilson-Toner.

He is survived by two sons, Woodrow Wilson II of El Cajon, Calif., and Paul B. Wilson, of Silver City, N.M.; nieces Jacki Farmer and Cathe Bauer, of Jefferson City, Mo.; grandchildren, Melodie Stenger of Portland, Ore., Leah Velasco-Wilson of Boston, Mass., and Benjamin and Savannah Wilson of El Cajon; and a great-grandson, Oliver R. Stenger of Portland.

Special thanks to Odyssey Hospice and especially Woodie's nurse, Mahea Dodd. Many thanks to so many friends for their love and support.

Memorial contributions may be made in Woodie's name to Habitat For Humanity.

Arrangements are under the direction of Berardinelli Family Funeral Services, 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, N.M., 87505. (505) 984-8600.