Arnott Edward Wilson
October 22, 1926 - June 19, 2006
Arnott Wilson, who would've been 80 on his next birthday, died suddenly, but peacefully at his home in the Manor in Somerset. One of eight children, Arnott was born and raised on the family farm near Altamont, but he was truly a citizen of the world and a self-educated, well-read, renaissance man, knowledgeable in the fields of astronomy, history and geography. Arnott joined the Canadian Army not long before World War ll ended serving in the artillery. After the war he took a mechanical course in Winnipeg, worked underground as a hard rock miner. In the early 1950s he went north and worked in mines at Uranium City and Port Radium where he operated and maintained diesel-powered electrical plants. While in the north he took up life-long interests in photography and radios. He was a voracious reader. Arnott saw the world, first while working on a bulk cargo ship that steamed between Australia, South Africa and Japan. He lived in Australia for more than a year and then toured from India back to England, going through the Middle East. He also visited Mexico. In 1970 Arnott attended the World's Fair in Japan, a country and culture, which fascinated him. Arnott also attended Expo '67 in Montreal and the World's Fair in Seattle. He traveled extensively across Canada and the United States, often taking a nephew on his adventures. He was fond of his nieces and nephews. He let us have the odd beer and let us drive his car in the pasture -- not at the same time of course. We loved to watch his slides from exotic places like Africa. Arnott loved the sea, but left it in the early 1960s because of poor wages. In his 40s Arnott became an electrician -- not the easiest of tasks after having been out of school so long and having only a Grade 10 education and a dislike for math. But he persevered and got his journeyman's ticket. His lack of formal education belied his vast knowledge. Although his home base was Burnaby, Arnott worked on construction sites all across B.C., the Alberta Tar Sands and on nuclear power plants in Ontario. Arnott initially retired to his condo in Burnaby but in the spring of 1997 he returned home to Altamont. He bought woodworking equipment, built a deck, planted roses and a vegetable garden and played with his cats. His health and mobility improved, but after a few years the yard and house became too much for him and he moved to the Manor. Arnott Wilson was one of the most interesting people you could meet. He was also human. Although he had a reputation for stubbornness and was a curmudgeon, he was also kind, thoughtful and generous. He was honest and empathized with the little guy -- the worker, the farmer, the politically oppressed. He loved life, took risks, sought adventure and found it. He should've written a book. Left to mourn are his sister Verna McGinnis of Moose Jaw and brother Wayne of Vancouver and sister-in-laws Hazel Lange, of Victoria, B.C., Charmaine Wilson of Gimli, MB., Loreen Wilson of Langley, B.C. and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Arnott was predeceased by his parents John and Eva Wilson of Altamont, brothers and sister-in-laws Gordon Wilson (Margaret) of Onaway Alta., Cliff Wilson of Victoria, Harry Wilson of Gimli, Glenn Wilson (Sadie) of Altamont and Walter Wilson of Langley, B.C. and brother-in-law Bernard McGinnis of Pinawa. Funeral services will be held at the Altamont Community Centre, on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Debra Orton officiating. Interment to follow at Altamont Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 200-310 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB. R3C 0S6 or a charity of your choice. Doyle's Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.