Remembering Ross Wilson
Ross Wilson, 1948 – 2021
Treasurer and Trustee
A devoted family-man, entrepreneur, mentor, business leader, community champion with an ebullient curiosity and a zest for life; he was enthusiastic, passionate and irreplaceable. A son of Glasgow and a Berkshire gent who will be sorely missed.
Born in 1948, Allan Ross Wilson was the eldest son of Elsie and Allan. Growing up in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Ross was part of a large family with two sisters and four brothers.
He left the family home at 16 and moved into the YMCA in Glasgow, forging his own independent path and embarked on a career in accountancy, working and studying to become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. It was during his studies in Glasgow that he met Carolyn Whyte, who he went on to marry in 1971.
Once qualified, Ross accepted a position at an accountancy firm in Jamaica and the newly married couple moved across the Atlantic and set up home in the Caribbean where they went on to have two sons, Allan (1972) and Chris (1974).
In 1975 Ross and Carolyn moved their family back to the UK and set up their life in Maidenhead where Ross was instrumental in building an accountancy business with his long term friends, colleagues and fellow Scots, Billy Mills, Alan Ross, Sandy Kerr and others. Williams Allan, based in Windsor, soon established itself as a leading accountancy firm serving a wide range of local and regional businesses and entrepreneurs.
Following the successful sale of Williams Allan to Tenon in 2000, Ross went proudly on to join his sons Allan and Chris in business in their Maidenhead-based accountancy and advisory firm Wilson Partners Ltd in 2008 where they took it from start-up to the successful firm it is today which now serves businesses across the Thames Valley and beyond.
Over the course of his career, Ross became a seasoned networker, making hundreds of business connections and friendships. He was regularly involved with both the Windsor and Maidenhead Chambers of Commerce, local business forums and went on to lead the Berkshire branch of the Institute of Directors as Chairman. He also mentored and supported clients, colleagues and members of staff all with his trademark enthusiasm and positivity.
Out of a deep respect and love for his adopted local community and a desire to use his skills for the benefit of others, Ross became involved with The Prince Philip Trust Fund for Windsor and Maidenhead at its very inception in 1977. As Treasurer and Trustee for over 40 years, he worked alongside HRH Prince Philip and latterly the Earl of Wessex, and helped grow the charity from an initial £25,000 proceeds of HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations, to being able to give out over £2 million over the years to local charitable organisations and projects, helping thousands of Royal Borough residents in the process.
When he wasn’t working, Ross loved to play all manner of sports and whilst Glasgow Rangers FC fuelled his passion for football, he also played tennis to a high standard in his youth playing junior county tennis. He also played squash competitively and represented Jamaica internationally during his time living in the country, and went on to play for the East Berkshire Squash Club.
For over twenty years, Ross lived in Bray by the River Thames. Whilst he enjoyed village life and walking to the local pub and the nearby restaurants, he loved to be beside or out on the river in his boat, ‘Aye Ready’, a tribute to his beloved Glasgow Rangers.
A keen golfer, Ross became a member of Temple Golf Club in the 1990s – a much loved place for him where he could often be found playing a round with his friends, his sons and grandsons – and went on to captain the club in 2008 and again in 2016.
It was to the backdrop of a father’s and son’s golf match in Surrey in 2014 when on the fourth hole, a friend and fellow golfer suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the course. Ross immediately gave CPR assistance until the air ambulance arrived and lifted the patient to the nearby hospital in Tooting where, following months of rehabilitation, he went on to make a full recovery. In his inimitable style of finding the positive in every situation, Ross went on to enthusiastically promote the benefits of first aid training, which he had received only months before this incident, on behalf of St John’s Ambulance.
Throughout his life, Ross touched the lives of so many people through his work, family, charitable works and hobbies and interests. He was a kind, generous man who was very knowledgeable and always looking for ways to help and support others. With his quick wit and infectious personality he radiated positivity and enthusiasm for every day. Once met, not easily forgotten.
Above all else, Ross was a family man and devoted to his sons, Allan and Chris, his grandchildren Izzy, Harry and Charlie, and especially to Carolyn, his wife of 50 years.
He will be fondly remembered by all at The Prince Philip Trust Fund as an irreplaceable friend, trusted colleague and a champion of the community who did so much for local residents through his charitable works. We will miss him greatly.