It is with great sadness that the family of David Bruce Wilton, of Darlings Island, NB, announce his passing which occurred on Thursday, August 5, 2021, at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Born in Vuyyuru, Krishna, India on October 12, 1938, he was a son of the late Rev. Leslie and Alma (Osborne) Wilton.
David is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Naomi Grace Wilton (Willis); son, Timothy Ian Wilton of Darlings Island; daughter, Deborah Ruth Kussan (Savas) of Qatar; grandchildren: Joshua David, Taylor Marie Hope, Matthew Brady, Sabri David, Ahmet Samuel; brothers: John Wilton of Ontario, and Paul Wilton (Jan) of Edmonton, AB; as well as several extended family members. In addition to his parents, David was predeceased by his sister, Grace McKinley and brother, Rev. Ralph Wilton.
David was an amazing husband, father, “poppy”, and friend. David loved singing and was part of a music group who went across Canada singing folk songs. One of his favorite hymns to sing was, “How Great Thou Art”, and he died peacefully in the hospital after listening to this song.
He loved animals and the three dogs he took care of in his life loved him. He was indeed their best friend. He adored gardening and every stone and flower he planted was done with his heart. David had an adventuresome soul, calming spirit, and patient heart.
Goodbyes are never easy. Earth lost an angel and heaven gained one. Memories and thoughts of this amazing, kind, and caring man will stay in the heart forever of those who knew him. David will be missed.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Sherwood’s Funeral Home and Life Tribute Center (506-839-2156), 18 Scovil Road, Norton, NB. A private family interment will take place at Floral Hill Memorial Gardens, in Hunter River, PEI, at a later date.
Donations in memory of David may be made to the Saint John Regional Palliative Care Unit, Alzheimer Society - Saint John, or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Personal condolences to the family, and charitable donations, may be made through: www.sherwoodsfuneralhome.com
In 1999, David wrote a little summary of his life which the family would like for you to read to understand David’s passion for ministry.
“I have recently retired from my position as Coordinator of Planning and Research at the Saint John Police Force, after 21 years. I am only 61 years old. I am in reasonable good physical health, and, therefore am exploring ways that I can keep active, and, perhaps be involved in some kind of ministry.
Considering the above information, you may be wondering what the purpose of this letter is. Perhaps I can begin by giving you a very brief summary of my background. I am the son of Rev. Leslie Wilton, who was a missionary in India for 27 years. I earned my B.A. and B.D. from Acadia and my S.T.M Andover-Newton. It had been my intention and that of my wife to go to India as missionaries. Because of the changing government policies in India, we never got there. This created something of a crisis in my life since I had never thought of being involved in any other ministry than Missionary work. I served as an associate-Minister at First Baptist Church in Charlottetown and Zion Baptist Church in Yarmouth N.S. In 1970 I assumed responsibilities as a Chaplain in a medium security prison in Mimico, Ontario. During the next four years, I earned my certification as a Supervisor of Supervised Pastoral Education and taught a variety of courses to students from the Toronto School of Theology. In 1974, I moved to Saint John, N.B., where I became the Chaplain supervisor at the Provincial Hospital. I was also Adjunct Professor of Clinical Training at Acadia and taught courses to students taking their Masters degrees.
During the period from 1974-1978 I became interested in ministries in the community and sat on the Boards of various community agencies as well as helping to set up Baptist Inner City Ministries with Rev. Dan Dryer. In 1978, with the encouragement of Dan, I applied for the position of Civilian Coordinator of the Saint John Youth Project, a demonstration project funded jointly by the Federal Solicitor Generals Department and the Saint John Police Force whose purpose was to develop a Youth Policing program in the city. At that time, it was my intention to complete the project and go back to some form of ministry. However, I so thoroughly enjoyed my experience that I continued to work for the Saint John Police Force from 1978 to 1999, first as the Coordinator of the Youth Policing Unit, then in Victim Services and finally as the coordinator of Planning and Research.
When people asked me why I left the pastoral ministry for secular work, my answer was that I did not. I always looked on my work as a ministry in as much as I was working for the building of God's kingdom in a way that could not be done within the church. In addition, I was developing skills that I likely would not have developed within the church. I believe that my twenty plus years in secular work has made me not only wiser but more understanding of the needs and concerns of God’s people. As such, I think I am better prepared to do ministry than I was in 1978. However, in spite of the above sentiments, I must confess that I have missed being part of some kind of pastoral ministry or church related work I feel that given a chance I could, with God’s strength, perform.”
David's daughter, Deborah Ruth Kussan, wrote this poem on the day of her dad's death.
My Precious Dad
August 5th, 2021
Tears are flowing down my face,
Memories of you I do embrace.
Earth has lost a soul today.
Heaven has gained an angel to stay…
The childhood stories of India you would share,
how monkeys stole your clothes by the river leaving you all bare.
The quiver of your lips and twinkle in your eye,
when you said something funny and we would laugh till we would cry.
You held my hand, called me “Pumpkin” and hugged me tight.
Chocolate cakes and Indian curries were your cuisine delight.
“How Great Thou Art” was sung with passion from your voice.
We would talk religion,politics, whatever was the choice.
Each pet that graced home was your best friend from the start.
Each rock and flower put in the garden was joy from your heart.
Memories travel perfectly across my mind.
You were the most amazing man with a heart patient and kind.
I look up to the sky and see a smiling sun,
Remembering moments you filled our home with stories and fun.
Each star tells me you were a dreamer till the end.
You were a precious husband, father, Poppy, and a dear friend.
Goodbyes are never easy,
Earth lost an amazing man today.
Proud to be your daughter, would not have it any other way.
Heaven has gained your soul who has flown peacefully its way.
I can imagine you reliving your adventures day by day.
I hug my memories to my mind,
Rivers of my tears fall down my face.
Dad, I love you and your heart so kind.
Tears glisten and rainbow thoughts comfort lost and pain felt deep.