It was with great sadness that the
death of Robert Blane Wilson, who
we all knew and loved as “Bob”,
was announced in church on 10th
April 2022. Bob died peacefully
at Dumfries and Galloway Royal
Infirmary on Tuesday 5th April.
Bob was born on 31st August 1939
in Glasgow. His father was a joiner
and the family ran a small corner
shop and dairy. Bob became Head
Gardener at the Raehills Estate at St. Anne’s, and it was there that he met Marion, also a
Glaswegian, who was working as a secretary in the estate office. Bob and Marion married and
had two sons, David and Alastair.
Bob and Marion became members at Maxwelltown West in September 1967, and Bob was
ordained an Elder in 1981. Max West played a big part in Bob’s life: there was nothing that
Bob didn’t know about our church, its history, its past Ministers, its buildings, and the way to
get the best out of an increasingly temperamental heating system. Bob was particularly fond of
the clock which sits below the gallery, and which he made sure was always showing the correct
time and, of course, was running like clockwork.
Bob had a great interest in history, the history of people connected with this area and with
Max West in particular. He has done a great deal of research on our past Ministers, and he has
also left us a wealth of information about those in the Armed Forces who are commemorated
on our own War Memorial, and also on the Maxwelltown War Memorial.
Bob did not have a driving licence and he and his bike were a familiar
sight in and around Dumfries. It was most fitting and appropriate that
Bob is acknowledged in a panel of our 150th Anniversary wall hanging,
now recently moved into the church. There he is on his bike, a vital,
much loved and respected member of “The Team”.
Bob was always active. There was the cycling and swimming which kept
him healthy. Bob never lost his love of gardening, and growing tomatoes
and making raspberry jam provided him with time to relax a little. He
loved dogs, particularly West Highland Terriers, and they were a big part of his life. He led a
full and busy life and he was involved in many activities and organisations. He ran Cub and
Scout groups here, and he was a Past-President of Burns’ Howff Club here in Dumfries. Bob
lived life to the fullest, right to the end. He was always busy, always there to help others.
Bob’s funeral was held at Maxwelltown West Church on Wednesday 13th April. This was a
poignant occasion as this was also the funeral service for Bob’s younger son Alastair, who died
suddenly on 21st March. After Marion died, Alastair and Bob became close, spending much
time together, especially when Bob was in hospital.
We remember Bob with great affection and gratitude for his love of Maxwelltown West and its folk.