John Wilson obituary (1935 – 2021) – Knoxville, MD



John Willard Wilson, 85, of Knoxville, Md., Died Thursday, September 23, 2021 at home with his wife by his side after a long illness. He was married to Rebecca Wilson, whom he married on December 1, 1984.

Born October 10, 1935 in Boonesville, Virginia, he was the son of the late John and Gladys Wilson.

John graduated in 1954 from Madison County High School in Virginia and was a member of the Madison Volunteer Fire Co.

John served in the military during the Korean War. He volunteered to serve by participating in US Army medical experiments focused on the development of defensive medical countermeasures against biological warfare capabilities. He worked as a medical laboratory specialist at Fort Detrick, where volunteers were exposed to experimental vaccines and infectious pathogens as part of the Operation Whitecoat program conducted at the US Army Medical Research Institute on infectious diseases (USAMRIID). Operation Whitecoat tells the story of commitment to serving in the defense of America and participating in tests that went far beyond military biodefense. His professional career began at the State Farm regional office in Charlottesville, Virginia, and then moved to the State Farm regional office in Frederick, where he worked for 44 years as an underwriting specialist. John received an Associate of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Social Studies from La Salle University.

John was a gentleman farmer and enjoyed working on the farm and gardening, especially growing vegetables. His specialty was sweet corn. John also loved woodworking and golf.

John was a life-long Seventh-day Adventist and a long-time member of the Frederick Seventh-day Adventist Church. He has served in various roles as a deacon, a member of the church board, a member of the finance committee, and for 26 years was the director of the church’s citrus program.

Besides his wife, Rebecca, he is survived by his son, Christopher Wilson and his wife, Rachel; and two granddaughters, Bailey and Cailin Wilson; also surviving, a sister, Barbara Mehaffey and her husband, Gene; brother-in-law, William Duvall; brother-in-law, Dennis Bennett and wife, Susan; his nephews, Bill Duvall, Derek Bennett and his wife, Gina; nieces, Melodie Mehaffey and Kami Bennett; and her favorite cat, Tiger.

He was predeceased by his sister, Joyce Duvall.

The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike in Frederick.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, 2021 at the Stauffer Funeral Home in Frederick. The final resting place ceremonies will take place at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Frederick, where military honors will be rendered.

Special thanks to the caring staff at Frederick Health Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Frederick Health Hospice or Frederick County Humane Society.

Expressions of sympathy can be offered to the family at

Published by The Frederick News-Post September 26-27, 2021.

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