Wilson, David Kerr
Passed away June 29, 2020
Wilson, David “Dave” Kerr, age 91, Truro passed away June 29, 2020.
It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of David Kerr Wilson. David, “Call me Dave”, was born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia. A proud Truronian, Nova Scotian and Canadian, Dave led a life well lived. An entrepreneur, father, grandfather, uncle, sportsman and friend, Dave’s gregarious personality and zest for life made a lasting impression on all who met him.
Although Dave grew up in Truro, he spent several enjoyable years at King’s-Edgehill School (KES) in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Dave thrived in the KES environment of scholastics, sport and cadets where he played rugby and hockey and became Head Boy his final year. His early entrepreneurial skills also emerged at KES, creating a canteen and laundry service. In later years, Dave was a loyal Patron of KES. He donated generously to his “second home” and sponsored many student scholarships.
Dave attended the University of King’s College (UKC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia during the post WWII years and played several varsity and club sports. In 2013, Dave and his business partner and sister-in-law, Rose Wilson, received their Doctor of Civil Law in recognition of their contributions to UKC and Nova Scotia society.
Dave returned from university to join the family business in Truro, Wilson Fuel Co. Limited. He helped his father George solidify Wilsons as a leading regional fuel supplier. Later, with his late brother and business partner, Peter, they expanded Wilsons into propane and gasoline. Wilsons now employs over 1200 people in its various divisions including Wilsons Heating, Propane, Mechanical, Plumbing, Security and Wilsons and ESSO gas stations.
As a twenty year old, Dave forged out on his own establishing Kerr Controls Ltd., an HVACR parts and equipment distributor which has grown into a distribution centre and head office in Truro with twelve branches in Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
In winter, Dave joined his father and fellow ski enthusiasts making the trek to Wentworth, helping blaze trails and forge a Nova Scotia ski community. He established Dave Wilson’s Ski Shop. Later as owner of Ski Wentworth, he transformed the ski area from a club to an outdoor enterprise. Dave also loved his annual ski trips away with friends and the Ski Atlantic Seniors Club. He skied at Wentworth until age 86. He loved the camaraderie of Après-Ski at Ducky’s and could be spotted dancing a mean jig on Robbie Burns Day.
Dave spent his summers at Shortt’s Lake and was a keen member of the Shortt’s Lake Yacht and Tennis Club. He especially enjoyed debating race strategies at the weekly Saturday Après-Sail and taking in sunsets from the dock.
A Scout master for sixteen years, Dave was awarded the Canadian Commemorative Medal for outstanding community service and was patron of the Colchester Community Workshops Foundation. He has served on numerous community boards, including the Colchester YMCA and King’s-Edgehill School. He co-founded the Truro Bearcat Rugby Team in the late 1950’s and was involved in the creation of the Cobequid Spartans Gymnastics Club in the 1970’s. He also organized the first ski instructor course in Atlantic Canada and became one of the first instructors. He was also past Warden of St. John’s Anglican Church in Truro.
He also served on many industry boards including Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, Nova Scotia Ski Areas Association and Central Nova Tourism Association.
Dave has been recognized for his contributions to business and community: inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame with late brother Peter; co-recipient of Red Cross Nova Scotia Humanitarian Award with Rose Wilson; Ernst & Young Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year; Canadian Ski Council Builder Award; Canadian HVACR Hall of Fame; Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award; Colchester Sport Hall of Fame Builder Award; Truro Rotary Club Community Service Award and University of King’s College Judge Elliott J. Hudson Award and Doctor of Civil Law.
Survived by children, Steven, Leslie (Jeff Sproule) and Gregor (Erica van Vulpen); beloved grandchildren, Nate, Myka, Hendriks and George; former spouse, Jeanne Wilson; sister-in-law, Rose Wilson; many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by special friend, Barb Upshon.
Predeceased by mother, Madelyn (Merriam) Wilson; father, George Wilson; sisters, Jans Henderson and Judy Winter and brother, G. Peter Wilson.
Special thanks to the Earth Angels, particularly Laurynda Massee, whose help during the last chapter of Dave’s life was greatly appreciated.
Donations can be made to Colchester Community Workshops Foundation or the Canadian Ski Patrol.
Due to restrictions in place, a celebration of Dave’s life is planned at a later date at Ski Wentworth. Arrangements entrusted to Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow St., Truro where on-line condolences are available at www.ColchesterCommunity.com
KES inspires academic, athletic and artistic excellence with a commitment to the traditional community ideals of gentleness and learning, dignity and respect, so that students may discover and cultivate their unique potential, prepare for post-secondary education and develop a life-long enthusiasm for the spiritual and intellectual growth necessary to flourish in the contemporary world.