The Rev. H. J. Wilson, Episcopal priest, professor

Obituaries June 7, 2011 0 Comments

The Rev. H. J.  “Jay” Wilson, 77, of Oxford, England, an Episcopal priest who had served at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Field in Chestnut Hill, died of a heart attack May 21 at the home of a friend in Albuquerque, N.M.

Mr. Wilson also had been an assistant professor in the English Department at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) for many years.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when he had served in various area parishes, he and his wife, Susannah Harris-Wilson, lived in Mt. Airy, then in Chestnut Hill.

Called “Jay” by all who knew him, Mr. Wilson was the son of a clergyman who served in various mission parishes in the United States and, consequently, grew up in several states, including Montana, West Virginia and Tennessee.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College, studied English literature at the University of North Carolina and graduated from the General Seminary in New York City.

He had served as curate at churches in Princeton, N.J., and Whitstable, Kent, England, then in the United States as University Chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania and assistant priest at the Church of St. Mary’s Hamilton Village, among his many assignments.

After his retirement from CCP and church service, he and his wife settled in Oxford, England, but found time to travel. Recent trips included visits to Pakistan, where his wife has roots, and Egypt, Istanbul and Syria.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons from his previous marriage, Anthony and Laurence Wilson; two sisters, Betsy Collins and Julia Wilson Ball, and five grandchildren

A Requiem Mass will be celebrated June 9 at the Church of St. Mary Magadalen in Oxford, where Mr. Wilson regularly celebrated evening Mass on Sundays.  – RR

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