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Biology teacher inspired thousands

Aug. 23, 2004

By ELVIA AGUILAR, city editor

Dr. Ray F. Wilson passed away July 9 while on a study abroad program in Rome. Members of the Baylor family are invited to attend a memorial service in his honor at 4 p.m. Thursday at George W. Truett Seminary.


Wilson, 62, was a biology professor, director of the Honors Program and Master Teacher.

"This is a great loss for the Baylor family. Ray Wilson was one of the most beloved professors in the university's history, having taught literally thousands of students over his long and distinguished career," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "He had a great sense of humor and was a tremendous encourager, helping many students find their sense of calling and direction in life. He was demanding in the classroom and laboratory, but what many people will remember about him is that he loved his students."

Wilson was born Aug. 1, 1941, in Wichita Falls. He was a 1966 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University.

He earned his master's degree in biology from Texas Christian University in 1969 and his doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois in 1973.

Later that year, he joined the Baylor faculty as an assistant professor of biology. He also taught human physiology, the physiology of aging and geriatric physiology. Last spring, Wilson was appointed director of the Honors Program.

"Ray was intensely interested in helping students," professor of biology Dr. Kevin Gutzwiller said.

Gutzwiller said he knew Wilson for about 17 years and he was enthusiastic about supporting students, faculty and Baylor.

During his three decades at Baylor, Wilson was honored with numerous teaching awards, including his selection by the 1997 senior class as the Collins Outstanding Professor.

In November 2003, Wilson was designated as Master Teacher by faculty members. He was a member of Highland Baptist Church.

De Andrea Myers, Wilson's sister recently sent a thank-you letter addressed to the Baylor faculty and staff.

"Everyone has been so kind, and we have especially loved hearing all the wonderful stories you have shared with us about Ray," the letter reads. "He loved you all and enjoyed that rare luxury of going to work every day with people you admire and doing something you love."

He is survived by his mother, Eileen Wilson, of Garland; sister, De'Andrea Myers, and husband, Jerry, of Dallas; brother, James Wilson, and wife, Belinda, of Allen.

Memorials can be made to the F. Ray Wilson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor University, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, Texas 76798-7026.