In Memoriam: John “Holt” Wilson

Longtime professor remembered for thoughtfulness, passion

| Author: Logan Pellegrom

Central Michigan University Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration professor emeritus John “Holt” Wilson passed away May 17, 2022 in Midland, Michigan. He was 80.

Wilson is remembered for his passion for teaching, inquisitive and thoughtful nature, and his accomplishments as a researcher.

“In addition to the meaningful impact Holt had as a mentor, colleague, and friend, he was extremely focused on student learning and success,” said Chris Moberg, dean of the College of Business Administration. “In my interactions with Holt the last few years, I found him to be a force of nature with more energy than me and a dedicated teacher who always shared the latest classroom approaches he was taking to support student learning.”

Wilson dedicated his career to academics, often collaborating with colleagues from a range of disciplines on research topics. He authored a leading textbook on business forecasting that enjoyed renowned success through six editions and his scholarship was cited more than 500 times by colleagues.

In addition to his work, Wilson was known for his infectious personality, mentorship to students and professionals alike, and his friendship to many. He enjoyed golfing, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with loved ones.

“I will always be grateful to Holt for not only mentoring me when I was a young, green faculty member, but also for befriending me outside the office as a frequent golf and dinner companion,” said Richard Divine, chairperson for marketing and hospitality services administration. “No one personifies the spirit of this department more than Holt."

Wilson earned bachelor’s degrees from Otterbein University in both chemistry and economics, an MBA in statistics from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate in marketing and economics from Kent State University.

Another former colleague of Wilson’s said, “Holt epitomized the highest and best aspirations of the CMU College of Business Administration. His service to the college was a blessing, and his memory will remain a treasure to all those whose lives he touched.”

Wilson is survived by his wife Reena, sisters Clara Wharton (George) and Roneva “Ronnie” Mills, and extended family. Individuals wishing to honor Wilson can make a donation to the Holt Wilson Memorial Scholarship at CMU.

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