Wilson taught chemistry at UC for 38 years and served as department head. Later, he taught chemistry at Bowling Green University.
"He was considered a very good teacher," his wife, Antonia Wilson, told The Blade. "He had graduate students that still keep in touch with him. They still send us Christmas cards."
Wilson traveled the world to give talks on chemistry. He was an avid birder and nature lover.
Wilson earned a bachelor's degree from Penn State University and a doctorate in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.
"He was a wonderful colleague – very passionate about science," UC chemistry professor Anna Gudmundsdottir said.
Wilson hired her when she applied to UC, she said.
"He made a big difference for the chemistry department," she said.
In 1998, UC honored Wilson with the Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research. he belonged to the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among others.
He was named in the Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering.
Besides his wife, Wilson is survived by a daughter, Laura Witherow, a son, Dan Wilson of Bowling Green, his grandson, Oscar Witherow, and a brother, James Wilson, according to his published obituary.
Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home in Bowling Green will conduct a memorial service at noon on Feb. 29.