Swarthmore Friends Meeting

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania







Memorial Minute for Robert A. Wilson


Robert A. Wilson, member of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting since 1938, died peacefully on March 15, 2008, after a short illness.  He was born in Philadelphia , December 29, 1915, to Alfred C. Wilson and Anne Wilson, nee Ferris.  Robert was their only child, raised as a Quaker at Swarthmore Meeting, and graduated in 1936 from William Penn Charter School , Philadelphia .  He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and attended the University of Maryland .  In 1935 he was awarded the National Amateur Rowing Championship Medal for 145-pound quadruple sculls. 

 Robert enlisted in the U. S. Army as a conscientious objector and served as an Army Medic seeing combat in New Guinea and the Philippines winning the Bronze Star.  He married widowed Virginia C. Bauer, with six-year-old son, Chuck.  He was an honest, loving, romantic, and caring husband; and a wonderful father to Chuck, giving him many good things to follow in life and setting the best examples. Later he re-joined the Army and served in the Korean War and Vietnam . He was one of only 36 people chosen to begin the Army’s first polygraph program; this program was a good fit with his values of honesty. He also believed things should be done right for the best security of the country.

 In 1953 he and his family moved to Tennessee . After he was honorably discharged in 1970, he worked at Guardsmark, Inc, Memphis , Tennessee , as a polygraph examiner.  He retired from Guardsmark in 1986. In 1998 he and Virginia moved to Madison , Wisconsin , where they richly enjoyed the most modest pleasures of life. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Virginia C. Wilson, his step-son, Chuck Bauer; and other close friends. 


 Written April 13, 2009, by Swarthmore Monthly Meeting Care and Counsel Committee  in consultation with Virginia C. Wilson