Dean B. Wilson, born in Richmond, CA, August 24, 1947, passed away on April19, 2021 in Sacramento. Dean’s father and uncle were musicians, and Dean grew up listening to and then playing guitars of all kinds – a lifelong passion. Dean enlisted in the United States Air Force in September 1966, and was lucky enough to spend a significant amount of his service while posted in Germany, playing in a rock band. Dean married Gay Eileen Spaulding in January 1972, and they spent many happy years in Santa Rosa, CA. Dean cared for Gay through six years of a fight against cancer, which ultimately took her life in 1993.
In 1994 Dean was introduced to Pamela Kerns through a friend and former bandmate, and sparks flew. Pamela respected his love and grief for his first wife, and welcomed Gay’s mother and other relatives into her home and heart. Dean and Pam were married on Valentines Day in 1995 in Santa Rosa, where they lived until Dean’s retirement in 2015.
During his time in Santa Rosa, Dean worked as an electronic and electrical engineering technician at a number of industrial manufacturing companies, including Fluidyne, Max Machinery, Coca-Cola, JDS Uniphase, and Viavi. He maintained deep friendships with co-workers from each place of employment throughout his lifetime; they uniformly valued his competence, humor, and consideration for others.
These great friendships were rivaled by those he made in the music community. Dean was always either in a band or helping a fellow musician by offering his talents on the bass or lead guitar in studio recordings for their albums. We tried, but couldn’t begin to count the bands and albums!
After Dean retired, he and “his Pamela” moved to Oroville, CA, to be closer to Pam’s family. As always, Dean made friends with other musicians and enjoyed performing with several bands. He and Pam nestled into their cocoon full of art, music, dogs, food, and comfort. They were looking forward to many more years of this, but Dean suffered a massive stroke on April 14, and passed away days later.
Dean is survived by his wife Pamela Kerns Wilson; brother Michael Wilson and wife Debbie of St. Anthony, Idaho; sisters-in-law Susan Kerns of Crested Butte, CO; Nancy Kerns of Oroville, CA, and Leslie Kerns of Nevada City, CA; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews, including his nephew US Army First Sergeant George Spaulding (retired) of Schweinfurt, Germany, who was like a son to Dean. All of us will deeply miss his music, infectious smile, hugs, and wise words of support.
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