Rogers County lost one of its favorite sons with the recent passing of Don Wilson. Don, who was beloved throughout the county and known by so many, was a well-known realtor and appraiser for years in Claremore. He was a happy warrior. You couldn’t be around Don without laughing within the first five minutes at some wisecrack he had made.

The first time I met Don was when I moved to Claremore to attend college. He treated me well then, but he did that for everybody. Our friendship grew over the years as I learned Don had many, many friends from all walks of life.

He was legendary in the field of appraising and was sought out by lawyers across the state for both appraisals and expert witness testimony. Don would regale juries with funny stories, all the while getting his point across as to what he thought was the value of land.

Don was sometimes on my side and sometimes against me. Regardless of which side he was on, he was always professional and performed his work well, particularly when teamed up with his often partner, but sometimes adversary, Mike Sisemore.

Don graduated from Chelsea and loved baseball. One of his claims to fame was he went to school with New York Yankee star, Ralph Terry. My guess is Ralph Terry often found out, in addition to being a Yankee, his claim to fame was going to school with Don Wilson.

Don was a star in his own profession and will be missed by so many of us in Rogers County and throughout Oklahoma. At his funeral people came from all over Oklahoma. Judges, lawyers, former political leaders, and a lot more of Don’s friends. My guess is, Don is somewhere in Heaven already preforming an appraisal for St. Peter.

-Stratton Taylor,