“When Johnny and Martha Wilson married on Valentine’s Day 1994, they did not realize that their promise to be together ‘until death do you part’ was the start of their journey for eternity.”


John Franklin Wilson

Johnny, who will be missed dearly, peacefully passed away May 21, 2019, at home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., (two months after his 100th birthday). Johnny was born on March 22, 1919, in Madison, Wis., to Harley Frost Wilson and Clara (McClain) Wilson.

Johnny completed his education after four and a half years at the University of Wisconsin before entering the Army in 1942. During his service, he served in the Northern France Campaign and received the Bronze Star medal shortly before becoming a warrant officer. Johnny was released from the Army in 1945 and remained in France as a foreign service employee while he was dating his Georgie, whom he married and brought with him to America.

They moved to La Canada, Calif., where he purchased a Culligan soft water service. During his years in La Canada, Johnny was a member of the Crescenta-Canada Rotary Club and served as president for a year. He was also a member of the Oakmont Country Club, where he celebrated having hit a hole in one.

Georgie passed in 1992, and a year later he met and courted Martha. In 1994 Johnny and Martha moved to the Sunrise Country Club in Rancho Mirage after the sale of their homes and business. They lived in Sunrise seven months a year and in Wildflower in Sun Valley, Idaho, the other five months. The Wilsons were members of the Thunderbird, Sunrise and Sun Valley golf clubs.

Johnny enjoyed a long life, which he attributed to “lots of golf” as he was playing 18 holes three days a week up until about a year before his 100th birthday.


Martha (Zimmerli) Wilson

Martha peacefully passed away at home, approximately eight hours after Johnny on May 21, 2019.

Martha was born in Los Gatos, Calif., on July 9, 1926, to Ernest Zimmerli and Millie (Johoe) Zimmerli.

Martha studied art and music at San Jose State College for two years and then moved to New York, where she continued her studies at Julliard School. Martha returned to the West Coast when her father passed away and attended the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Art and Design in San Francisco, where she earned her certificate of interior decoration. Shortly after her graduation, she married Tom Carey, who passed away in 1989.

Martha spent 23 years designing custom needlepoint for a business in Los Angeles and she also was the West Coast designer for Culcilla in New York. Much of Martha’s time was devoted to her paintings of flowers, landscape scenery and animals.

Both Johnny and Martha were extremely grateful for the love and care that Jessica and Margaret provided the past few years.

Since they both passed on May 21, 2019, they were cremated, placed in a single urn and interred in the Riverside, Calif., military cemetery, where they will be together for eternity.