Dr. James Robert Wild, PhD.
November 24, 1945 – August 14, 2019
Dr. James Wild PhD, 73, of College Station, passed away on August 14, 2019, in Bryan after a 17-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, associated dementia and it’s later stages. There will be an open house celebration of Dr. Wild’s life at Christ United Methodist Church, Friday, October 18, 2019, from 3 to 6 pm.
Jim was born on November 24, 1945, to Robert Lee Wild and Elleta Wheeler Wild in Sedalia, MO. He graduated from high school in Riverside, CA in the early 1960s and was off to the University of California at Davis (Cal Aggies) where he earned a BS in 1967. In 1971 he earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of California at Riverside. Following his graduation, he traversed the continent to serve as a Lieutenant in the Navy for three years. Jim was stationed at the Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) in Bethesda, MD studying the effects of high pressure on the efficacy of antibiotics. Along with doing his research, he had many ancillary duties in the Navy including participating in all types of sports to help NMRI try to achieve the all-district Navy sports awards in the Washington DC area. Jim was also appointed as a race relation’s facilitator, spending several weeks in California honing his skills in the endeavor. Upon completion of this training, he returned to Bethesda to lead many sessions on the base to help people of various races and backgrounds develop more understanding and respect for each other.
While in the Navy, Jim met a Navy optometrist, Lieutenant JG Ann Brenner. They were married early in the morning on August 1, 1973. They attended a softball tournament in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Jim’s team lost and they had to play in the losers bracket. In August of 1975, Jim came to TAMU to teach biochemical genetics to Aggies. He did this with enthusiasm for 37 years. He had an active research program over those many years while shepherding numerous Ph.D. and Master Degree students. He also taught hundreds of undergraduates. In addition to research and teaching, he served as an Associate Dean of AG and Life sciences from 1988 to 1992. He was a Professor and Head of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1994 to 2000.
Jim was responsible for developing summer research opportunities for minority students from Texas and beyond. In addition to this, he helped a friend set up an award-winning afterschool program in Bryan for elementary school kids, which gave them an introduction to science.
Other activities Jim enjoyed were working with a high school Baptist youth group in Riverside, CA during his graduate school days. With the assistance of Ann and other church members, he led the Methodist Youth Fellowship at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station. His tenure for those activities totaled over 15 years.
The year 1984 brought a new member to the family, daughter Kalli Wild. This event shifted focus from the youth at church to the daughter at home. Jim was an active dad in rearing the apple of his eye. He encouraged her in sports, school, dance and singing, and poured his heart into fatherhood. He had an amazing sense of humor and could quickly turn any stranger into a friend. “Every person has a story, and every story deserves respect” was the motto he lived his life by.
Dr. Wild is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ann Wild; his daughter Kalli Wild and her partner Charles; his sisters Janet Cover and her husband Robin, and Margi Wild and her husband Wayne McKinney; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. Please designate the 652596-94880-Dr. James Robert Wild Scholarship in the memo line of the check.
On-Line giving instructions: giving.tamu.edu
Give Now (at the top), Select “An Unlisted Account”, Complete the amount and personal information, At the bottom under additional comments put: In memory of Dr. James Robert Wild. To account 652596-94880-Dr. James Robert Wild Scholarship.
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