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Lewes, Delaware
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June 2, 1995     Cape Gazette
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June 2, 1995

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26 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 2 - June 8, 1995 Obituaries Noted Lewes artist, model Tom Wilson Thomas R. Wilson, noted Delaware artist, died Friday, May 25, 1995, of complications from AIDS in his home in Lewes where he was surrounded by family and friends. Tom was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Houston Wilson of Georgetown and Lewes. He at- tended St. Andrew's School near Middletown; Moses Brown Quak- er School in Providence, R.I.; and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1969. Tom's first love was the land- scape and people of Sussex Coun- ty. The time he spent as a child on his grandmother's farm in Prime Hook Neck indelibly imprinted his imagination and set the tone for his life as an artist. After graduating from college, Tom moved to New York to begin his career as a painter. Fate and good looks intervened to catapult Tom into a parallel career as one of the top fashion models of the 1970s. He was photographed by Francesco Scavullo, Fred Eber- stadt and Richard Avedon and was featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Time magazines. In 1981, Tom chose to abandon Paris and New York, committing him- self to art as his life's work. Since painting and Delaware were in- separable in Tom's mind, Lewes was the place he chose to set up his studio. On a bare piece of land behind his family's beach house, Tom created an oasis. A wisteria-cov- ered studio merged into a wild tangle of exotic #ants and ponds which later inspired his famous series of "flower pastels." Initially, Tom became known as a portraitist. His subjects ranged from prominent business figures to farmers to drag queens on the Rehoboth beach Boardwalk. His portraits always included a reveal- ing juxtaposition of sitter and landscape, bathed in a near surreal light. Fascination with light and landscape was to dominate his work. Benjamin Forgey, art critic for the Washington Post, recognized Tom as "an intense, talented real- ist painter from Lewes, Delaware in whose hands the typical be- comes the extraordinary." The New York Art Review de- scribed his style of painting as "reaching far beyond the Delmar- va Peninsula." Even before his national ac- claim, the people of Sussex Coun- ty had come to regard Tom as a lo- cal treasure. The Delaware Coast Press wrote: "In all of the paint- ings he combines the real and sur- real with such expertise that you are at once startled and charmed at his interpretation of everyday sutan stm ptmm Tom Wilson is pictured in fx-ont of one of his paintings, un. finished at the time. I Wilson exhibit still on; scholarship fund established With the greatest respect for the creative genius of local artist Tom Wilson and in honor of his recent passing, the Rehoboth Art League will present a collection of his recent works. They will be on display at the Art League's Homestead Mansion, 12 Dodd's Lane in Henlopen Acres, from June 2 to July 13, 1995. Tom's paintings at this Memorial Exhibition will not be for sale. However to perpetuate his memory, and in keeping with Tom Wil- son's personal philosophy of giving to the community, a "Family and Friends of Tom Wilson Scholarship Fund" has been created. Contributions of any amount may be made to "Family and Friends of Tom Wilson Fund" c/o Board of Trustees, Rehoboth Art League, 12 Dodd's Lane, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. ife. t) Teaching came naturally to Tom. He shared a wealth of skill and research with a dedicated group of students and disciples who could be found in his garden or at the classes he taught at Nas- sau Commons. When the Beachcomber called upon him to explain his extraordi- nary success, Tom simply replied, "I paint. I show. I sell. I paint again. All I can say is I love it." While painting was his life's work, Tom regarded his 13-year relationship with Leo Medisch as his most noteworthy accomplish- ment. Together, the two built a home, traveled, entertained and propelled each other to success and happiness. Tom will be remembered by his friends for his extravagant hospi- tality, his teasing humor, his stub- bornness, his complete lack of pretension, as well as his inability to walk out of a record store with- out a "Dinah Washington record- ing that I didn't even know exist- ed." Tom is survived by Leo and his sister, Catherine W. "Kaki" Smith; his niece, Catherine Hous- ton Smith; his nephew, James P. Smith HI of Ponte Verde, Fla.; and his pets, Dot and Harry. A memorial service will be an- nounced at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Sussex County AIDS Committee, Delaware Hospice or to the Thomas R. Wilson Scholarship Fund at the Rehoboth Art League. Adam V. Reed, former track star Adam Vernon "Chic" Reed, 73, of Rehoboth Beach, formerly of Newark, died Sunday, May 28, 1995, of respiratory failure at home. He was cared for by Delaware Hospice, Southern Di- vision. Mr. Reed retired in 1981 after 40 years with Diamond State Telephone Company. For the last 15 years of his career, he was the PBX supervisor for the downtown DuPont Co. account. In his youth, Mr. Reed won the national high school AAU high jump championship in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1940. He held the Delaware state high school high jump record for 22 years. He was a graduate of Middletown High School and lat- er served in the U.S. Army as a master sergeant in the Signal Corps on Guam during World War H. He was a life member of Reboboth Beach  Post 7447 and a member of American Le- gion Post 5, Rehoboth Beach. He is survived by his wife, Gretta Reed; two sons, Adam V. H of Rehoboth Beach and Ken- neth M. of Newark; two daugh- ters, Susan B. Ashby of Lewes and Melanie M. Sekora of Tampa, Fla.; a brother, Robert M. of Ocean View; two sisters, Doris R. Workman of New Castle and Mary Louise Marker of Smyrna; and 10 grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, 7 Bay Vista Road, Rehoboth Beach, Burial will be private. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Delaware Hospice, Southern Di- vision, 600 DuPont Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947. Charles B. Warrington, former carpenter Charles Bruce Warrington, 44, of Harheson, died Friday, May 26, 1995, of insulin shock and dia- betes in Nanticoke Memorial Hos- pital, Seaford. Mr. Warrington was born in Milford, the son of Kathleen Phillips Wardngton and the late Charles E. "Pete" Warrington. He was a carpenter who worked with his father until his illness. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was a member of American Legion Post 23, Harheson. He is survived by his mother, with whom he lived; two brothers, Steve of Dover and Mike Harhe- son; three sisters, Bonnie Wilker- son of Harbeson and Sandra Rose and Patricia Eye, both of George- town. A memorial service was held Tuesday, May 30, in the chapel of Melson Funeral Services, Long Neck. Burial was private. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Ameri- can Legion Post 23, Harbeson, DE 19951. Katharine O'Kane Jones, director of Beach House Katharine O'Kane Jones, 87, of Rosemont, Pa., former executive director of Delaware's Beach House, Inc., died Thursday, May 25, 1995, in Broomhall Presbyter- ian Home, Rosemont. Mrs. Jones, formerly of Wilm- ington Monroe Park Apartments, directed the summer programs in Lewes from 1952 to 1960, before becoming the full time executive director. The facility was founded in 1936 on Cedar Avenue in Lewes where it overlooks Delaware Bay. It provides an environmental edu- cation program for disabled Delaware children. Mass of Christian Burial was held June 1 in Pennsylvania. Bur- ial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Pa. The family suggests contributions to Children's Beach House, Lewes, DE 19958. Dorothy M. Burton, retired school teacher Dorothy M. Burton, 94, of Mil- ton, died Saturday, May 27, 1995, of natural causes in Harrison House, Georgetown. Mrs. Burton was the daughter of the late Handy H. Mcgee and Ella M. Mcgee. She attended the University of Delaware and taught at several Sussex County schools, the last being Donovans School near Mil- ton. She was a member of Goshen United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Women and served as treasurer of the church building committee. She Was preceded in death by her first husband, Howard J. Bur- ton, in 1945. She is survived by a stepson, Paris A. Burton of Milton; four step grandchildren, six step great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 31, at Short Fu- neral Home in Milton. Burial was in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Milton. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Goshen United Methodist Church, Milton, DE 19968; or to the Milton Vol- unteer Fire Company, Milton, DE 19968. Clarence M. Collins, owned clothing store Clarence M. Collins, 86, of Har- rington, died Thursday, May 25, 1995, in Milford Memorial Hospi- tal. Mr. Collins, who worked in the clothing business for 60 years, owned and operated Collins Clothiers since 1968. He was an organizer of the Har- rington Historical Society. He was a member of Temple Lodge 9, Milford, and a life mem- ber of the Harrington Volunteer Fire Company. He is survived by his wife, Madlyn E. Collins; a daughter, Joan E. Wittle of Harrington; a brother, Mariun V. of Milton; and a granddaughter, Linda E. Wittle of Salisbury, Md., who had lived with him. Funeral services were held Monday, May 29, at McNatt Fu- neral Home in Harrington. Burial vt, as in Hollywood Cemetery, Har- rington. New Bible Study Group At the home of Ken & Lydia Masters, 228 Elm Drive, FAgewa- ter Estates, Lewes, Delaware. This Bible Study is sponsored by the Ilaware Baptist Association and the Ocean City Baptist Church (S.B.C.). Rev. Marvin Wright is lcadin$ the study. For further information call Ken & Lydia 644-2353 or Rev. Wright 349-4242