Theodore Allen Wilson PhD

Theodore Allen Wilson, 82, died peacefully at Pioneer Ridge, Lawrence, Kansas, on May 6, 2023.

Ted was born September 27, 1940, in Evansville, Indiana, the son of Benjamin Wilson and Anna Basham Wilson, the youngest of five children. He graduated from Reitz High School, and received a Bachelor’s degree, Masters degree, and PhD in History from Indiana University, specializing in World War II history and foreign policy after the war. Ted was a Phi Beta Kappa and won a Fulbright scholarship to study in Britain. His dissertation, The First Summit, was published shortly after he was granted his Ph.D, winning the Francis Parkman prize in 1970 from the Society of American Historians for best book in American history that year. Additionally, Ted wrote a number of books on the Marshall Plan and the military in WWII and the post-war period.

Ted married his high school sweetheart, Judith Juncker Wilson, in September, 1962, Married for 58 years before her death in 2020, Ted and Judy lived first in Bloomington Indiana while he finished his PhD. In July, 1965, he accepted a position in the History Department of the University of Kansas. Over his 49 years as a professor at KU, Ted served as an assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the chair of the History Department, and the head of the Hall Center for the Humanities. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, Ted held visiting appointments at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Leicester University, University College Dublin, and served as the Senior Research Fellow during 1989-91 at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. Since 1986 until shortly before his death, Ted served as General Editor of the University Press of Kansas series, Modern War Studies,

In 1970, Ted and Judy joined the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence, now UUCL, where he was an active member, serving as chair of the congregation’s board twice over the years. He attended services at UUCL until his death, contributing superior grilling skills at cookouts and standing in for Santa Claus for the children over the years.

The time spent in Ireland and Great Britain left Ted with a lifelong love of both countries and he and Judy spent many summers and vacations with friends and family. In the 1980s, Ted developed a great passion for red wine, especially cabernets, and was a member of several wine tasting groups in Lawrence. He was a big fan of the KU Jayhawks and the Kansas City Chiefs, and a lover of science fiction in both books and television shows/movies.

Surviving family are his daughter, Laura, Lawrence, son Andrew and his wife Kimberlee, Geneva, Illinois, and grandson, Alexander, Geneva, Illinois.

A Celebration of Life will be held on September 30, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. for Theodore A. Wilson at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence, 1263 N. 1100 Rd., Lawrence, Kansas with a reception to follow. For a zoom link please call UUCL, 785-842-3339.

Messages & Condolences

From vorbelutrioperbir...

great points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What would you suggest about your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

From Karl Brooks...

Ted co-piloted “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the US History graduate colloquium, along with Bill Tuttle. A better guide through modern US history this brand-new doctoral student couldn’t have desired. Ted was incisive, funny, and patient during class discussions. His comments on papers were thoughtful, helpful, and spot on. When I became his KU History Department colleague in 2000, he was collegial, wise, and hard-working. In short, Ted Wilson modeled all the qualities a historian should possess and apply to the craft. We who knew him as colleague and teacher and friend were triply blessed.

From Jim Willbanks...

Ted Wilson was a great friend and mentor. Like with so many others, he was the reason I finished a doctoral program at KU. He was always encouraging and provided a good sounding board and role model. Over time, he grew to be a very dear friend who I will miss greatly. He was an uncommonly good man who touched many. My condolences to his family.

From Leslie Tuttle...

Ted Wilson was the kindest and most supportive of mentors and colleagues. Ted and Judy made community in the KU History Department with their generous hospitality and unflagging good humor. I am grateful for their example, and send my condolences to Laura, Andrew, Kimberlee and Alexander.

From Ray Finch...

Dr. Wilson was one of the finest teachers and individuals I ever met. A generous scholar with a deep understanding of history and human nature. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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