Richard H. Wilson Sr.

A memorial service for Richard H. “Dick” Wilson Sr., 78, will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Lawrence.
He died Saturday, July 17, 2010, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after a 21-month battle with brain cancer.
Mr. Wilson, the adopted son of Irene and Harry Wilson, was born on Dec. 29, 1931, in Schenectady, N.Y. He graduated from Mont Pleasant High School in 1950 and attended Kansas University on a cross country and track scholarship, where he was a member of the 1953 NCAA championship cross country team. In 2008, Mr. Wilson was inducted into the KU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation from KU, Mr. Wilson served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves from 1956 to 1968, achieving the rank of captain.
He began his career in commercial underwriting in 1957, advanced through the middle management responsibilities and retired in 1992 in Lawrence after 35 years with the Travelers Insurance Company. He and his wife raised three children, living in Schenectady, N.Y., Palatine, Ill., and Indianapolis before moving to Lawrence in 1992.
A competitive Masters runner for more than 30 years, Mr. Wilson was nationally ranked in the top 10 of his age group every year from 1985 to 2005. In 2003 he was ranked No. 2 in the nation and No. 4 in the world in his age group.
He married Phyllis JoAn Fink on July 15, 1956, in Quinter. She survives.
Other survivors include two sons, Rick and wife Leslie, Indianapolis, and Steve and wife Michelle, Overland Park; a daughter, Patricia Geyling and husband Rolf, Santa Barbara, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
The family suggests memorials to the 1953 Cross Country Fund No. 37747 at Kansas Athletics, the Olympic Village Project at Kansas Track and Field, or the First Baptist Church of Lawrence. Memorials may be sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Ind., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at