John passed away peacefully on March 25, 2023. There will be a private graveside service on Monday March 27, 2023.
John was born on April 27, 1938 in Gainesville, Texas to Stella Tyler Wilson and John T Wilson II. His family later moved to Wichita Falls and, following high school, John enrolled at Tulane University, where he earned his BS in 1960, followed in 1963 by MS and MD degrees. John loved New Orleans and Tulane University until the day he died. He completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Stanford University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa.
Following his passion for research, John completed numerous protocols and studies at the well-regarded National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and became board certified in both Pediatrics and Clinical Pharmacology. He was later selected to work with Dr. William Silverman at the San Francisco Children’s Hospital, following which he was chosen to become a Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, he was given the opportunity to further his research inquiries at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
John was kind and compassionate, a gentle man, deeply concerned for the health and well-being of all children. As a Pediatrician, Clinical Pharmacologist and Researcher, John devoted his life for the medical betterment of children. His primary focus was fighting for the same protection that ensures drug safety and efficiency in adults be given to children. He received numerous recognitions by his peers and governmental officials for his contributions to the health of children and clinical pharmacology. Most notable was his recognition in 2000 by President Clinton, who personally congratulated him at the White House for his work for safely labeling drugs for children. He was instrumental for the passing of the Pediatric Research Act of 2003. In 2013 he was the Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient given the Tulane Medical Alumni Association. John gained countless international recognitions, most notably the Paracelsus Award from the University of Amsterdam for his work on the pharmacokinetics of drugs in breast milk for which he published numerous peer-reviewed articles and texts. John’s achievements, awards, volumes of top tiered publications are unfortunately too numerous to list. In short, children all over the world enjoy better health because of his dedication and research. At the time of his retirement in 2015 he was Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Chief of Clinical Pharmacology and Director of the Children’s Clinical Research Center at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine Jacobs, his three children, Lauren Wilson Campbell (Sean), Abigail Wilson Hardin (Wesley) and John Tyler Wilson, IV (April), his step-children Sarah Elizabeth Peterson and Robert Connell Peterson, Jr., his brothers Benjamin Wilson (Pat) and William Wilson, his sister Abigail Wilson Cunningham (John), 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
John loved to race his sailboat on Cross Lake Sunday afternoons. He also loved his time on the tennis court, especially playing with Cathy at Pierremont Oaks. John was also committed to ensuring the protection of wildlife, especially wolves, as well as raising and showing his Australian Shepherd dogs.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Pediatric Department of Tulane School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112.