David H. Wilson, 62, a restorer and English furniture specialist, died February 17, 2011, after a defiant and graceful battle with cancer or, as he stated, “Tell them I died from living life.”
He was born in Evanston, Ill., into a well-known antiques dealing family. His father, Bill, was proprietor of Wilson Galleries in Chicago, which he moved to Canyon Road in Santa Fe, N.M., in the 1950s.
Following a two-year stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War, David ran the gallery in Santa Fe after his father died. He closed the gallery in the early 1980s and moved to St Thomas for a few years and then spent the remainder of his life in Teaneck, where his life continued to be full of rich experiences and English furniture. Throughout all, he had an illustrious career and life full of passion for collecting, buying, selling and restoring Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century English antiques.
He was respected by colleagues in his field; an article in The New York Times recognized him as one of the leading specialists in English furniture. He will be remembered for his wit, sense of humor, charisma, charm and his undying penchant for facts, his enthusiasm for great food, stories, “stuff,” company and most of all, his resiliency.
Two daughters, Jennifer and Ashley, a son, Peter, and a grandson, Alexander, as well as many friends, all of whom will miss him dearly, survive him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a memorial donation to The Royal Oak Foundation/National Trust, www.royal-oak.org , to procure and plant walnut trees on a National Trust Property.
There will be a memorial celebration of David’s life at the Gerald Peters Gallery, 24 East 78th Street, New York City, on Sunday, March 20, from 3 to 5 pm. For information, 212 628-9760.