Marion C. Smith Wilson, 72, of West Chester, a retired police communications operator, died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Tuesday at her home.

For 25 years until retiring in 2000, Mrs. Wilson was an operator at the state police barracks in Avondale. She dispatched troopers, received and coordinated communications, and was involved with the Chester County Cadet Camp. The summer program introduces boys and girls to the criminal justice system and strives to establish a positive relationship between youngsters and law enforcement personnel. She was a people person, her daughter, Nancy McManus, said, and "had a heart of gold."

Before joining the state police, Mrs. Wilson was a bookkeeper for Norcross Greeting Card Co. and a sales clerk at the Grand Way store in West Goshen.

Mrs. Wilson graduated from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. She met Elwood "Al" Wilson at a roller skating rink, and they married in 1955.

They enjoyed vacations in Siesta Key, Fla., and spending time with family in Cape May. He died in 2000.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Wilson is survived by a son, Steven; a sister; a granddaughter; and a great-granddaughter.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 10 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11, Wednesday at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, 410 N. Church St., West Chester. Burial will be in Philadelphia Memorial Park, Frazer.