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School 14


Bruce Alan Wilson

January 2, 1931 ~ October 17, 2018 (age 87)

Bruce A. Wilson, 87, of Barrington Hills, died on October 17, 2018. Married for 31 years to Kathleen, father of Leslie, Moira and Curt Wilson.  Bruce was born in Windsor, Canada as a U.S. citizen in 1931, he was the fourth son of the late Mabel and Sidney Wilson.

Bruce was a pioneer of the ATA Carnet and Customs Import Bond industries and shaped many lives in the world of international trade and transportation.  He enjoyed extensive international  travel throughout his career.   From 1969 until 1985 he was President & CEO of J. E. Bernard & Co. a Chicago based Customs Broker & Freight Forwarding firm, and Roanoke Agency, who served the insurance needs of Importers and their customs brokers.  In 1979 Bruce created Washington International Insurance Company to further serve this industry.   He served as President of the Elk Grove Village Association of Industry & Commerce beginning in 1978.  In 1985 Bruce founded Corporation for International Business to focus on growing the ATA Carnet business as a supporter and director of ATA Carnet Operations for the U. S. Council for International Business.  His company continues to innovate ways for firms to ship commercial samples and professional equipment that travel globally on a temporary basis. 

Bruce enthusiastically supported the founding members of Steppenwolf Theater Company, having co-signed for their first bank loan as Steppenwolf’s first Board President when the organization started in Highland Park, IL. 

Having studied history and political science, Bruce had a keen interest in politics and was active in the Lake County Republican Party for many years.  He was an avid reader of history and leadership biographies, most recently reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant.  He was known to study the U. S. Constitution…for pleasure.

In addition to his wife and three children, Bruce is survived by his four grandsons, Nikolai, Henry, Chuck and Harrison and by his brother, Sidney James Wilson (Mary Ann), as well as his first wife and mother of his children, Mimi Hamann, and many loving nieces, nephews and in-laws.  Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Herbert and Thomas, and his little sister, Catherine “Kae”.  Bruce will be missed by the many lives he touched, children he entertained with his whimsical sense of humor, and those he supported in their pursuit of education and business.

Family & friends are invited to gather on Saturday, November 10th from 10:00 a.m. until the time of a memorial service at noon at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 149 West Main St. in Barrington, IL,  

In lieu of flowers, Bruce’s favorite charities were Salvation Army and Save the Children (see addresses below). 

Donations may be made to:

The Salvation Army, Chicago Metropolitan Division
5040 North Pulaski Rd, Chicago IL 60630-2788
Tel: 1-773-725-1100

Save the Children
500 Kings Highway East Suite 400, Fairfield CT 06825
Tel: 1-800-544-4470

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