If you were a kid living in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of James R. Wilson Jr. and you had problems with math in school, you needn't have worried.
James was a math whiz and he freely lent his help to youngsters in algebra, geometry and trigonometry. As a result of his help, a number of kids with math deficiencies who might not have made it to higher learning went on to college.
And then, encountering the same problems in college, they called Mr. Wilson, often long-distance, to help them make it through.
James Wilson, an avid musician who first performed at the Royal Theater on South Street at the age of 4, and an Army veteran, died Dec. 10. He was 82.
He taught his daughter to play the flute and his son the clarinet.
James graduated from Central High School in 1945 and worked as a projectionist at the old Globe Theater in South Philadelphia before joining the Army. He served in the Army in the occupation in Japan.
While in the Army, he attended the University of Hawaii.
James worked for the Postal Service for 36 years. His last position was as manager of the postal station at 4th and Chestnut streets. He retired in 1989.
He was affectionately known as "Mr. Holiday" among family and friends because of his penchant for decorating his property for all holidays, not just the traditional ones.
He married Mary E. Hawthorne in 1948. He also is survived by his daughter, Sharon Wilson-Hampton; a son, Steven, and one grandson.