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Jim Richard Wilson
(February 18, 1953 - July 13, 2014)

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Jim Richard Wilson

Jim Richard Wilson passed away on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn, after a long illness. He was the founding Director of the Opalka Gallery of the Sage Colleges, after ten years as Director of the Rathbone Gallery. Before his tenure with the Sage Colleges, he worked in the Program for the Arts of the New York State University. Jim previously ran the Peter Loonam Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY. In the last two years Jim was able to return to his first love, producing art, and created pastel works that appeared in recent shows. Jim gladly gave time to support local artists, jurying shows and giving talks to regional arts groups. He was an avid supporter of classical and jazz music, supporting classical chamber music series in the Capital District as well as Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport Maine. Jim had an extremely active life on the water after discovering sea kayaking, paddling coastal waters from Connecticut to Downeast Maine. He participated actively in the local paddling groups, leading paddles, as well as initiating sea kayak training sessions off the coasts of Connecticut and Maine. For the last quarter century he spent time in July in a summer cabin community that became as much a home to him as the Capital District. In his final days that provided invaluable support, and we thank the Flood family and residents of the Cove for all their help. Jim had many, many good friends who valued his keen intellect and caring nature. They come from varied corners of his life – his teaching, his Gallery work, his love of music, his paddling and the extended family that cared for him both in the Capital District and the community in Maine. He used Caring Bridge to express his thanks over the last two years as well as he could. He was sincerely grateful for the love and support he received from all of you. His family thanks you for the many ways you helped in Jim’s final days. Jim was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Margaret Woulfe Wilson. He is survived by his wife Celia Murray; his sister Margaret (Robert Andrews) Wilson of Keene Valley, NY; his brother Thomas (Teresa) Wilson of Germantown, Tenn.; his sister-in-law Mary Wilson; and several nieces and nephews. He was loved by his Uncle Richard Wilson and family, a large maternal family in Chicago and an extended family in Saratoga Springs. The cremation will be private. A memorial celebration of Jim’s life will be held at the Opalka Gallery, 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, on Sunday, September 14th from 2 to 4 p.m. The Gallery will be showing works by Regis Brodie, a fitting thing as this was the last show Jim scheduled before he retired. There will be food and refreshments, brief comments and a performance by Bob Gluck. Donations may be sent to the Fund for the Opalka Gallery at Sage Colleges, 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208 (please note in memory of Jim Richard Wilson on your check).

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