Marin's Fallen Firefighters

Jeff Lee Wilson


Southern Marin Fire Protection District

Heart Attack

Died suddenly on January 2, 2000 (sic) in Petaluma. Loving son of James L. Wilson and the late Alice Ann Wilson. Devoted husband of Ellen E. Wilson. Cherished father of Elizabeth K. Wilson and Molly R. Wilson. Beloved brother of Kathie Allen, Ron Wilson and the late Linda Willits.

Mr. Wilson was born and raised in South San Francisco, moving to the Strawberry District of Mill Valley in 8th grade. He graduated from Redwood High School and later from the College of Marin with a degree in Fire Science. He married his wife, Ellen, on August 5, 1978 in El Sobrante, California.

He was a Captain for the Southern Marin Fire Department for 25 years. He enjoyed golfing, skiing, camping and participating with his daughters' softball teams and the Penngrove 4-H Club.

Mr. Wilson competed in the California Firefighter Olympics. He was a member of the Cross and Crown Lutheran Church of Rohnert Park and the International Assn of Firefighters Local #1775. He will be greatly missed by his "Beloved Brothers".

Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Jeff's Life on Saturday, January 6, 2001 at 11 a.m. at the Cross and Crown Lutheran Church in Rohnert Park. The family prefers memorial contributions be made to the Jeff Wilson Family Memorial Fund c/o Westamerica Bank, 1222 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, 94941.


A 46-year-old Southern Marin Fire District captain died Tuesday while playing golf in Petaluma.

Jeff Lee Wilson of Rohnert Park had just reached the seventh hole at Adobe Creek Golf Course at about 1:15 p.m. when he collapsed to the ground, said Southern Marin Fire Battalion Chief Joe Jiordani, who was playing golf with Wilson and two other firefighters.

"He complained of heartburn at about the third hole," Jiordani said. "I told him I'd give him a ride to the doctor but he said, 'No, it'll go away.' We started CPR on him right away."

But Wilson died before reaching Petaluma Valley Hospital.

"We suspect he had a massive coronary," Jiordani said.
"It's such a terrible shock - I can't tell you. So sudden," said Wilson's wife, Ellen, who only recently recovered from back surgery a year ago. Wilson also leaves behind two daughters: Elizabeth, 16, and Molly, 12. He was the assistant coach of their softball team.

Wilson is also survived by his father, James Wilson of Santa Rosa; his brother, Ron Wilson of Mill Valley; and his sister, Kathie Allen of Santa Rosa.

Wilson was 12 when he moved with his family to the Strawberry area of Mill Valley. After graduating from Redwood High School, he earned an associate's degree in fire science from the College of Marin.

Wilson became a volunteer firefighter when he was 19, Jiordani said. He joined the Alto-Richardson Bay Fire Department in 1974 as a trainee and became a firefighter in 1976. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1980 and captain in 1981. He was interim battalion chief for more than a year.

Wilson already was a firefighter when he married Ellen 22 years ago. "It's the only life I've ever known; it's been a great life," she said.

"We worked together for 25 years," Jiordani said. "He was a great guy. Real even-keeled, he never raised his voice. He was the department jokester."

"He was a team player. He was the epitome of what you'd think a firefighter should be - one who helps, one who is always there when you need him, just a great spiritual person," said Southern Marin Fire Deputy Chief Mike Stone.

Services for Wilson will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Cross & Crown Lutheran Church, 5475 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, which he attended regularly, Stone said.

Marin Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 1775

P.O. BOX 15, FAIRFAX, CA 94978
(415) 459-4058 ·  FAX (415) 459-8009