Obituary of Viktor Ottman Wilson
Viktor Ottman Wilson, long-time resident of Stillwater, Minnesota, died peacefully on Monday, August 8th, 2022.
Viktor is survived by his five children, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and countless friends from many walks of life. His late wife Nancy preceded him in death in 2021. Vik and Nancy were married for sixty-three years, and shared many interests, activities and admirers.
Vik grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was an award-winning high school football player and wrestler, which fostered a lifelong love of sports.
Vik received his Bachelor’s Degree from Macalester College in 1958 with a major in Biology and Education, and earned two Master’s Degrees, one from St. Cloud State University in Biology, and one from Southern Oregon State University in Environmental Biology. While at Macalester, Vik met the love of his life, Nancy, and they were married in their senior year.
At Macalester, Vik was a two-time MIAC wrestling champion and was a four-year letter winner in wrestling, including one year as captain. In 1956, he won his first wrestling title at 177 lbs. and ended his collegiate career as a champion in 1958 at 167 lbs. He also was a four-year letter winner in football.
Vik taught biology and coached wrestling for five years at Benson, Minnesota before a move to Stillwater. In addition to his teaching duties as a popular biology teacher at Stillwater High School, Vik was head wrestling coach for a highly successful Ponies team spanning the early 1960s into the late 1980s, and assisted in football and track. He coached three wrestling state champions and won eight conference titles. After retiring from teaching in 1992, Vik continued to keep busy officiating football, wrestling, and track. He was inducted into the Macalester College Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995, into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association (MWCA) Dave Bartelma Hall of Fame in 2010, and into the St. Croix Valley Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
Vik and his wife Nancy opened their hearts and their home to many foster children through the years.
A card club formed in the 1960s was a nucleus of friends who are still part of the active group sharing personal connections and fun activities with Vik and Nancy. Some will also remember the CaCaHiBiSnorSki & Eating Club, formed by enthusiasts of camping, canoeing, hiking, biking, snorkeling and Nordic skiing (and eating of course).
Vik’s journals show numerous years of biking statistics for daily rides in and around the Stillwater area and throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, including length of ride, weather, destination and terrain. He and Nancy travelled to join a biannual bicycling trip for twenty friends through a number of European destinations, including Spain, France, England, Croatia and Germany. Other travel destinations for Vik and Nancy included Alaska, Malaysia, Australia, the US and British Virgin Islands, Cuba and frequent winter months of residence in Ajijic, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Many projects occupied Vik’s attention as he was “handy” in many things. In the 1960s he built a family cabin on Park Lake in northern Minnesota which has been the scene of happy times for the Wilson family and friends for decades. Repairing roofs, constructing a garage, building a basement sauna were just a few of the projects Vik took on. His energy was not limited to personal and household projects.
As a dedicated member and past president of the Gateway State Trail Association, he was instrumental in the construction of a multi-use recreational rail trail in the U.S. state of Minnesota, running 18 miles from Saint Paul to Pine Point Regional Park in Stillwater.
Vik was a long-time member of Servas, an organization providing opportunities for personal connections among people of diverse cultures toward the goal of promoting world peace, goodwill and understanding. This interest in international connections included sponsorship of a Mexican child as an important contribution to improving lives one person at a time.
No immediate formal service will be held for Vik; a dedication at the Stillwater Public Library will be held to remember Vik in the coming months. If a remembrance is desired, the family asks for donations to the Stillwater High School Wrestling Booster Club, which can be sent to Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Boulevard, attention: Tim Hartung, Head Wrestling Coach.