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Dr. John A. Wilson

Dr. John A. Wilson, Sheridan, WY, veterinarian died April 29, 2011 at age 68.

He was born Sept. 3, 1942 in Ft. Collins, CO, to Wilma M. Wilson, nee Rowand, and John A. Wilson, Sr.

John attended schools in Sheridan and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1960. He was a letterman in both wrestling and football. As a young man in Sheridan he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and also served as Master Councilor of DeMolay. John was awarded the Degree of Chevalier, the highest honor possible for an active member of DeMolay. He also became an expert skier and served as a member of the National Ski Patrol and was a featured model for several photographs distributed by the Wyoming tourism office.

John attended Sheridan College, the University of Wyoming, Oregon State University and Colorado State University (CSU). He graduated from CSU in 1969 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Following his graduation, he was commissioned and served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He qualified for airborne training and later earned the silver wings and Green Beret of a member of the Army Special Forces. This was an achievement of singular pride to him and his family.

In 1972, John was discharged from the army as a Captain and then joined his father in the family veterinary practice in Sheridan. Following the death of his father in 1975, John took over the practice and continued practicing as a veterinarian for the rest of his life. When John returned to Sheridan after his military service, he met and married Jane Vick. Their marriage continued for 38 years until John’s passing and Jane was the single most important person in John’s life, although she has had to share space with numerous dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, elk, buffalo, and other assorted beasts throughout their marriage.

John was recognized as a leader in equine arthroscopic surgery. He also was one of first to be certified in veterinary acupuncture. His combination of skills brought comfort to thousands of animals throughout the Rocky Mountain west. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department routinely called upon John to treat various forms of wildlife and in his career he cared for wild creatures ranging from snakes, mice, coyotes, elk, buffalo, bears, lions, eagles and owls. John’s professional consultations took him from Colorado, throughout Wyoming, north to the Canadian border and included Nebraska, the Dakotas, Utah, and private animal sanctuaries in California.

John was past-president of the Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association, and also a past-president of the Wyoming Board of Veterinary Medicine. He was a member of the Elks club and the Lions club of Big Horn and had been a Mason and a member of the Shrine.

John was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Jane, and two step-sons, Stan (Gay Ellen) Vick, and Greg (Kathy) Vick; step-grandsons James and Sam Vick, and Alex Emick. Also surviving are John’s sister, Mary, and brothers: James (Janet); Charles (Donna); Robert (Patricia), all of Sheridan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His family is planning a wake, scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, at the Sheridan Elks Club, from 5-10 p.m. No formal funeral service is planned, as John wanted a party in keeping with his Scottish heritage; a social event, and not a religious service. There will be a few brief remarks, but mostly food, drink, music and conversation; everyone who valued John and cares for Jane is invited.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, or the Sheridan Dog and Cat Shelter – both absolutely consistent with John’s long-term involvement with wildlife, and his lifelong concern for pets.


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