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David Wilson

Longtime Pigale Optical owner, father, fisherman

Longtime Claremont resident and business owner David Wilson died May 15 from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was 68. 

Born in Pasadena, California on March 13, 1951, David grew up in Claremont, attending El Roble Intermediate School, Claremont High and Mt. San Antonio College. He was an apprentice at Pigale Optical before becoming the owner of the longtime Village business on Bonita Avenue.

Early in his career he served as an advisor and source for the period eyewear in the classic 1974 film Chinatown.

Mr. Wilson enjoyed operating Pigale, helping people, and being part of a small town business association. He was also an avid fisherman, and recently realized a longtime dream by angling in Alaska.

After closing Pigale a few years ago, Mr. Wilson began a second career as an independent water truck operator. He had been working for Cal Fire at the Woolsey Fire site in Ventura County when on May 15 his truck, heavily weighted down by a full load of water, slipped off the road and fell more than 1,000 feet down a steep embankment. He died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

He was preceded in death by his son, Bradley Wilson, and his wife, Leslie Frantz Wilson.

Mr. Wilson is survived by his two sons, Robert and Matthew Wilson; his brother, John Wilson; and two grandchildren, Hayden and Kian Wilson.

A small open reception will be held on Sunday, June 9 from noon to 3 p.m. at Walters Restaurant, 310 Yale Ave., Claremont.