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The Great Ones: Gordon and Mollie Wilson

We remember with fondness and gratitude the lives of Gordon A. Wilson and Mollie C. Wilson, forever part of Webb’s history. Mr. Wilson passed away in 1974 and Mrs. Wilson lived many more years in Big Bear Lake, having recently passed away on June 13, 2017 just one month shy of her 105th birthday.

Mr. Wilson was a graduate of Pomona College with a MA degree from Claremont Graduate School. He taught and was headmaster at the Norton School in Claremont for ten years before coming to Webb in 1938. His tenure at Norton and subsequently at Webb followed another great master, Ramsay Harris. It was at Norton that he met Mollie Clyde, a fellow faculty member. The couple was married shortly after arriving at Webb and together they raised five children on campus. Their two sons, Gordon ’59 and Tom ’65 attended the school and Gordon ’59 taught here for a time.

Gordon A. Wilson served as a master teacher and scholar for thirty years and as a trustee following his teaching career for five more years. He taught English, the classics, and ancient history, and also served as dean, assistant to the headmaster, and leader of the school orchestra. He was a talented musician and played the organ in the Vivian Webb Chapel as well as the viola with such groups as the Claremont Civic Symphony and the Pomona College Orchestra.

The Wilsons loved to travel and inspired students to experience the world first hand. In 1958, they spent a full year traveling Europe with their five children. They also hosted students from around the world in their campus home and were involved in the local community serving such organizations as Pilgrim Place and the Claremont Chapter of the American Red Cross. They championed students in need and supported the school’s earliest scholarships. When Mr. Wilson passed away, Mrs. Wilson endowed the Gordon A. Wilson Scholarship Fund in his memory.
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