He was born December 2, 1943 in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, the son of Booker Taleferio Wilson, Sr. and Rose Yet Keau Kam Wilson.
Nick joined the Army after graduating high school and served for three years. He played the big bass drum in a marching band and was a radio transmitter repairman with the Armed Forces Network in France. He returned to Hawaii and studied philosophy and music at the University of Hawaii. He entered competitions for the New York Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera and placed first runner-up in both of them.
He met Ruth Anne Durfey while they were both working at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki. They were married January 25, 1968 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Waikiki.
Nick received a full-tuition scholarship in 1969 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Voice and a Certificate in Opera. During the summers he sang in Rochester’s “Opera Under the Stars”, and at Chautauqua Institution, New York.
After graduation in 1973, Nick received word that he had been chosen to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to study voice and opera at the Academy for Music and Dance in Cologne, West Germany. The next day, Easter Sunday, Nick committed his life to the Lord and wanted to serve Him.
While on the Fulbright, he toured with the University of Cologne Choir as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and also participated in the International Festival of Young Soloists in Bordeaux, France.
After the Fulbright year, He taught voice at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, New York. He then served as Minister of Music at Assembly of God churches in Danbury, Connecticut, Worcester, Massachusetts, and Garland, Texas.
In 1980, Nick and Ruth began their missions career. They served in West Germany with Eurasia Teen Challenge, in Austria with university ministries, and in Texas and Missouri with International Correspondence Institute/Global University. In 1998, Nick earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and served as head librarian for ICI/Global and then Cape Theological Seminary in Cape Town, South Africa. He was at the ministry of Network211 in Springfield, Missouri, when he was invited to fill the need for a head librarian for Asia Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City, Philippines in 2009.
While at APTS, in July of 2011, Nick was diagnosed with widely metastasized prostate cancer. He was medically evacuated to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where he began treatment. He volunteered for clinical trials. Throughout his five years of treatments, he continued to serve as head librarian via Skype and email, working across the 12 or 13 hour time difference. This last July, he and Ruth attended the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Thailand and spent three weeks in Baguio. He was so very happy to be there again working with his library staff, meeting new students and staff and speaking in chapel and at Tip Top Assembly of God church.
Nick will be remembered for his beautiful voice, his crazy humor, his forward-thinking, his out-of-the-box ideas, his love for his family, and his great faith and contentment in the Lord’s plan for his life. He said he would never trade these last five years with cancer for anything because they brought him so much closer to Jesus.
Nick was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Darrell DeSilva.
He is survived by Ruth, his wife of 48 years; daughter Heather Wilson of Arlington, Virginia; son Jonathan Wilson (Sarah) and granddaughters, Elisabeth, Alaina and Mary-Colette of Garland, Texas; son Joel Wilson (Leah) and granddaughters, Siena, Haven, and Lyric of Waxahachie, Texas; brother Frank (Debbie) Wilson of Spokane, Washington; sister B. Lokelani Wilson of Hayward, California; brother Randall Wilson of San Francisco, California; sister-in-law Rachel DeSilva of Waimanalo, Hawaii; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and a host of dear friends and colleagues.
Nick’s desire was to raise scholarship funds for students at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Nick and Ruth Wilson APTS Scholarship Fund.
For online donations: http://s1.ag.org/nickruthwilsonaptsscholarship
Or, a check may be sent to:
Assemblies of God World Missions, 1445 N Boonville Ave, Springfield, MO 65802.
Memo: APTS 911105-5 (48)
The memorial service will be live-streamed.