Jim Wilson, 67, was born in San Jose, California to Phyllis (née Mothorn) and Virgil James Wilson, Jr., and died October 8, 2020 in Eugene, Oregon. He was a loving father, devoted son, and committed husband. He will be remembered for his passion, for the mischievous glint in his eye and for his magical nature.
Jim grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from James Gunn High School in Palo Alto. In his teenage years he cultivated a passion for magic. At 17, he began a lifelong love of travel by going to Europe to visit his older brother, and extended his trip by getting work at a magician’s shop in London. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and graduated in 1975 with a double degree in Economics and Aesthetic Studies, with honors. He received his J.D. from the University of Santa Clara, graduating cum laude in 1981, and joined the bar in Hawaii where he rose to the top of his profession in plaintiff personal injury law, becoming Resident Counsel for Sterns & Ingram and opening their 26-person office in Honolulu.
He met Sara Fahey in 1986 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and they married in 1989. They made their home in Lanikai on the island of Oahu. Jim and Sara had four children, sons Gabriel and Alexander, and daughters Hayley and Maia. He considered his family his greatest accomplishment and was always grateful to Sara for giving him one. In 1996, the family moved to Sara’s hometown of Eugene, Oregon.
In Eugene, Jim reconsidered his career. He was a complaint investigator for the Oregon Department of Education and found his niche as a special education mediator. In this role he helped people pursue not just the letter of the law, but its spirit. He also served as the Presiding Municipal Judge of the City of Coburg. He remarried in 2004, to Susana Ramírez. They shared a passion for justice for the vulnerable, and lived happily together for 12 years.
Jim’s proudest achievement was in the daily work of being a father. He provided for his children every day, whether that meant being the best cook or being the first call if they ever got in trouble. He gave his children a sense of perfect security, and they adored him in turn. Jim’s own father passed away in 1963, an event that drove him to be the best father he could be to his own children. His mother remarried to a U.S. Navy pilot, Wenzel “Pop” Brasser, who became a father figure and role model.
Jim was preceded in death by his father and mother, by his stepfather, and by his older sister Sharon Wilson. He is survived by his children and by his older brother Craig Wilson, and by three nieces and nephews.