Cover photo for James Ryley Wilson's Obituary
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James Ryley Wilson

July 31, 1928 — April 28, 2024

Bellaire, MI

James Ryley Wilson

James (Jim) Ryley Wilson, 95, passed away April 28, 2024 at his Bellaire, MI home with his family by his side.  Jim was cared for by his loving wife Marilyn, daughter Anne Marie Gladstone and Bob Gladstone until his final resting day. 

James was born in Warsaw, Poland on July 31, 1928 while his father J. Ryley Wilson was working for an American construction company in Poland. James was indeed born in Warsaw, Poland, had a Scottish middle name, and was a U.S. citizen from birth because the birth was recorded at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw as a child born to American Citizens. 

James returned to the U.S. at the age of 1 ½ years old, and eventually graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit, MI.  He attended General Motors Institute in Flint. 

In 1952 James was drafted into the Marine Corps for two years.  Following the Marine Corps, he worked for General Motors for 40 years.  He worked in the service parts division as an Engineer who specialized in service parts inventory control.  

In 1979 he married Marilyn Jean Koterba of Owosso, MI.  Jim and Marilyn enjoyed traveling, skiing, and took tours to England.  His final trip was to Poland, where using family records and his birth certificate, he was able to visit his birth place and the apartment where he started his life in Warsaw.

Jim’s father J. Ryley Wilson passed away in 1963 and his mother Florence Cornelia Wilson (Fisher) Died in 1987.  He was preceded in death by one sister Jane (Wardrop) in the Chicago area.  Living are Jane’s husband Jack who have four children, Robert, Elizabeth, James, and John which are James’ nieces and nephews.   

In Bellaire, Jim was a member of the Rotary Club, the American Legion, and also served on the Bellaire Library board.  His hobbies were in the area of word processing and spreadsheets.   For many years he produced monthly newsletters for the Rotary Club and other organizations.  He also had a sign shop and made signs for individuals and organizations.  

James has four step-children Timothy J. Skodak, Marcia and Tim Reintzell, Elaine and William Baker, Edward and Jeri Lyn Skodak, and daughter Anne Marie and Robert Gladstone.  13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  

James and Marilyn shared an amazing life together with so many happy memories.  

Funeral Services will take place on Tuesday, May 7, at 12:00 noon, at the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes with Sara Goldberg officiating. Visitation will take place on Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services. 

A luncheon will follow the services at the ASI Community Center, 102 Maple St., Bellaire, MI 49615. 

Interment will take place at a later date in Lakeview Cemetery, Bellaire.   

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Alden District Library, 8751 Helena Rd., Alden, MI 49612 or the Bellaire Rotary Club at 614 E. Cayuga St., Bellaire, MI 49615.  

Arrangements are under the care of the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign his online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Ryley Wilson, please visit our flower store.


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