Doris Hunter Wilson
When I was in grade school, my Sunday school teachers encouraged me to select a Bible verse to guide my life. I took it seriously. My selection was Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
A long-formed habit of trusting led me and my late husband, Talmage, to Africa and back over a period of 25 years. It guides my present-day devotion to serve people three days a week –– at age 86 –– in my Shelton, Washington, family medicine clinic. I just enjoy it. I should pay the clinic for letting me keep working. As a doctor, I’m kind of slow when I see patients because I am doing what my patients need most: taking the time to listen. It’s one of the lost arts of our society. Patients often need to pour out their heart and discuss things with someone neutral.
Talmage recorded our long and adventurous marriage in Golden Memories, a book he wrote in honor of our 50th wedding anniversary. Together we raised five children and served in South Sudan, Namibia, and South Aftrica.
During each segment of our missionary journeys, my husband taught and I provided primary medical care. Winifred Weter, late SPU professor of classics, spent Christmas 1963 with us in South Sudan.
I needed to learn each tribal language in order to do my job. The Zulu language was especially challenging, because it required mastering three different click sounds. I was usually the only doctor in these rural regions, and I handled wound treatments, amputations, and countless cases of malaria.
While working in the south Sudan, I determined the cause of a mysterious and deadly disease brought on by a tiny parasite that lived in the human spleen.
Between 1964 and 1969, I served as the college doctor on the campus of Seattle Pacific while my husband taught here. That era was followed by another term of service in Africa before the region became too politically unstable to be safe. In 1981, Talmage and I returned to the United States for good.
My husband wanted to go back to Africa again, but I said I didn’t want to learn another language. The dialects were blurring together!
I return to SPU for Homecoming and enjoy attending Falconette events with my sister, Carol Taylor ´51. I’m a longtime donor to Seattle Pacific and a member of the President’s Circle, because I just think that Christian education is something we all need to be doing. Promoting the gospel is the best thing we can do, both day and night.
—Doris Hunter Wilson ‘47