It is with great respect and deep sorrow that we announce the death of Grant M. Wilson, founder and trustee of The CARLISLE Foundation. Mr. Wilson died suddenly on September 9, 2012 at the age of 71. A resident of Carlisle, MA since 1969, he spent summers on Cape Cod where he died. The Wilsons also maintained homes in New York City and St. Simonís Island, GA. A 1963 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an engineer by training, Mr. Wilson later became involved in finance, manufacturing and numerous other private sector business pursuits.
Simultaneously, Mr. Wilson developed a passion for the not for profit sector and devoted a good deal of time to those pursuits. He participated on the boards of many non-profits including the former Concord (MA) Family Service Society. In 1988, together with his wife Helene and Richard Goldblatt, Mr. Wilson established the organization which would soon become known as The CARLISLE Foundation. Over the following twenty-five years, The CARLISLE Foundation was responsible for donating in excess of forty million dollars to a variety of human service agencies. These agencies and their programs, located mostly in New England, provide a legacy for Mr. Wilsonís charitable and entrepreneurial interests. Never seeking publicity, most of the Wilsonís charitable contributions were made without personal recognition. The Foundationís final grants were made in 2010.
Together with his wife, a Pace University alumna, he established the Helene & Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University to hone the risk-taking spirit and entrepreneurial management of nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. Through the Helene Trupp Wilson Scholarship Fund, he planted the seeds of academic, professional, and personal success for a generation of young women at Pace.
Mr. Wilson was described as ďan engineer by training, an adventurer in spirit, and a humanitarian at heart [who] pursued his passion for problem-solving on land and at sea, as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and while sailing the world.Ē Mr. Wilson spent much of a five year period on his beloved Whale Song sailing to, and exploring, each continent. He entertained his many friends and followers with tales of his escapades, several of which were anything but ordinary.
As passionate as Mr. Wilson was for his charitable and his entrepreneurial interests, he was at heart a family man and he was most devoted to his loving family. His wife of 47 years, Helene Trupp Wilson, was his partner and confidant. Together they shared a life of love, companionship, respect and devotion. He leaves three children, Grant of Maine, Kirsten of Washington DC and Sara of Italy. He also leaves two sons in law and six grandchildren. In addition he leaves a cadre of loyal and close associates from his various business endeavors. None have been more important than his most trusted and cherished associate, Beverly Medinger, who has been by his side for over forty years.
Grant Wilson will be greatly missed by his family and his friends. He will also be missed by the hundreds of organizations who benefitted from his contributions and, by extension, by the thousands who might never have known him but who were touched by his generosity, his concern and his leadership.
Rest in peace, good friend. You are missed. We celebrate your life and we are all better for having known you.
Richard A. Goldblatt
October 8, 2012