Kingston College (KC) old boy Ian William Wilson (a.k.a Pete and Willo) is reportedly the first alumnus to sadly succumb to the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wilson lived in the Bronx and worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) nurse at Isabella Nursing Home in New York City. He was caring for his patients on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak when he contracted and eventually succumbed to the disease on the morning of April 1, 2020 at the St Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Wilson was admitted a week earlier on March 26 and was placed in the ICU.
Becoming a KC Old Boy
Wilson was born in Kingston on August 31, 1967. He grew up with his grandmother in the Kingston Garden community, which is close to the KC campus on North Street. As a student at Alpha Primary, Wilson loved all things KC. He looked up to the KC athletes and regularly attended KC Manning Cup football games and the Boys and Girls Track and Field Championships (Champs). Impressed by KC’s strong academic standing, Wilson aspired to attend Kingston College.
Wilson’s dream came true in 1979 when he passed his Common Entrance Exam to attend Kingston College. He was placed in 7 Hardie. “I couldn’t imagine going to any school in Jamaica other than KC,” he would say over the years. Wilson was an excellent student who pursued the sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology). He was a member of the graduating class of 1984. Wilson was successful in several subjects at the CXC O-Levels and spent 1 year in 6th form at KC.
Migrating to the USA
At the end of his first year in 6th form in 1985, Wilson gave up school and took a job at the Passport Office in Kingston. He worked there until he migrated to the USA in August 1988
In the early 1990’s, Wilson served in the United States Marine Corp. After serving for a few years, Wilson attended and graduated from Iona College (1998) with a degree in nursing. He then served as a LPN for over 20 years until his untimely death. With a soldier’s enduring sense of duty and a love for nursing, it isn’t surprising that Wilson risked everything to care for his patients in the battle against the coronavirus.
Love for KC and Serving Others
You will meet few people who love KC as much as Wilson did. He had a deep love for the KC athletes, students and alumni. He was an active member of the Kingston College Old Boy Association (KCOBA) and contributed to the scholarship dances and fundraisers, even when he was not attending the actual events.
Touting a photogenic memory, Wilson remembered all his KC classmates and teachers. He was an avid track and field fan who was known to schedule his vacations during Champs, so he didn’t miss anything.
In August 2019, I had the pleasure of visiting Jamaica with Wilson and his son, Ian Jr. We visited the Melbourne and North Street campuses where the track athletes and the football players were training. We met and greeted the coaching staff and some of the athletes. As we were leaving the campus, Wilson said, “We really should have brought some food for the athletes. I know how hard it was for me back in the days.” This captures the essence of who he was—a kind and thoughtful person.
Ian is survived by his son Ian Wilson Jr. (an aspiring nurse), his mother, 5 sisters and 3 brothers.
Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 11.00 am at the Granby’s Funeral Services Inc in Bronx, New York. Due to the current restriction on public gathering, the funeral will be streaming live at http://webcast.funeralvue.com/events/viewer/27205
Donations are accepted at Ian (Pete) Wilson Gofundme.com