Larry Wilson and his wife Joan became permanent residents of St. John upon buying their woodland home in the ridgetop forest of Bordeaux Mountain in June of 2011. They had first come to St. John exploring possible Caribbean locations for their retirement home, in 2003. Beginning with their 3rd visit in 2007, they stayed in the Coral Bay Quarter for 12 months over 4 years while doing off season caretaker work, joining the community, volunteering with organizations and conducting real estate analysis, before finding their home.
The Wilsons are St. Louis natives, who met in College in 1968. Faced with a certain draft status, Larry joined the Navy and went back to college on the GI Bill after his service. He and Joan renewed their relationship and were married in 1973, tag teaming each other through college in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Upon completing degrees, both became State of Missouri employees in the late 70’s, locating their home to rural Boone County, near the state capital. While Joan became a contract administrator, Larry worked his career in Corrections, retiring after 8 years as Deputy Warden at a maximum security facility at the end of 2004, his career spanning 28 years.
Joan and Larry have 2 adult children, Emily and Patrick. Emily followed them to St. John, staying 4 years, using her marine science background in the charter boating business, but leaving in early ’16 for professional work with the Pacific States Fisheries Commission. Patrick followed his family in ’14, and is Chef d’ Cuisine at La Tapa, in his 3rd year. It’s been a joy for the Wilsons to have had the family together these few years, enjoying the bounty of Love City.
Larry’s interest in history began in his childhood, exploring Native American sites while in Scouting, and spending many weeks yearly, camping on family vacations around the US throughout his youth. History and archaeology was always an inexpensive focus for his parents and the 7 siblings in these outings. Joan and Larry continued this tradition with Emily and Patrick, including trips across Mexico and the Caribbean. A principal attraction to St. John included it’s rich history of diverse cultures. The warm openness of the community made it right to call “Home.”
Larry and Joan are excited to be members of the St. John Historical Society, and help serve the mission of keeping alive the cultural histories of our special outpost of the US. They recognize the importance of promoting the understanding and preservation of our history, for VI residents and visitors alike.