Catalina ConnectionNews Briefs

Helen Wilson, the first non-native born on Catalina Isthmus, has died

GARDEN GROVE — Helen (Greig) Wilson, believed to be the first non-native born on the Catalina Isthmus (now known as Two Harbors) died on Feb. 20. She was 96

Wilson was known for being, in the words of her niece Kristina Fortier, “a very fun-loving, world-traveled, wonderful” woman. She passed away in Garden Grove and, according to her family, lived an incredible life full of adventure, travel and golfing.

Born to Bill Greig and Frances (Vincon) Greig, Wilson was raised on Catalina Island, completing her high school education in 1940 and meeting her husband, John Wilson, a native of Los Angeles, shortly afterwards in October of that year. Helen, who worked at Casino Theatre, met John there. They were married for 57 years until John’s death in 1997.

Bill Greig, a second-generation stonecutter born in Quincy, Massachusetts to Scottish parents, was responsible for managing the Wrigley-owned concessions at the Isthmus from 1920. Bill White’s book, “Santa Catalina Island, It’s Magic, People, and History,” recorded the Greig Family’s part in the expansion of the Isthmus.

Wilson and her husband enjoyed traveling, hitting destinations like Scotland, Mexico, Africa and more, and were avid golfers shown by their long-standing membership at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. Membership Director of the club, Renee Ord, mentioned Wilson was often seen with a group of ladies who were her close friends and that she is very missed by all. Most comment on Wilson’s fun-loving spirit — a part of her personality that has left a great impression on those who came in contact with her.

Wilson is survived by her sister-in-law Mary Grieg; best friend Ruth Sandberg; goddaughter Gay Anderson and her husband Bob; nieces and nephew Kristina and Bill Fortier (their children Ananda and Shauna Vance), James and Karen Grieg, Jeff and Shelly Greig (their children Courtney DeRouchey, Dr. Chasen and Collin Grieg, and their respective families), Sharon and Les Change, and Nancy and Joe Chaill; great-great nieces and nephews Gregory and Grant Cook, Eli and Juniper Greig, and Duke DeRouchey; and great-great goddaughter Tristen Snapp.

Family and friends will be invited to a private memorial ceremony involving the scattering Wilson’s ashes according to her wishes.

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