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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2021 / Vol 44 No 2


70 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK MEMORIAL TO CHARLES WILSON by Laurence Claus I was saddened to learn that Charlie Wilson, a longtime icon of the fastener industry and friend passed away Monday, February 22, 2021. Shortly after entering the fastener industry thirtyfour years ago, I would be quickly introduced to Charlie. I began my engineering career with an IFI member company whose leaders would “nominate” me to represent our company on the IFI’s technical committees. I don’t remember many details of those early meetings I attended, but I do recall Charlie welcoming me as if I had always been part of the team and was already an expert in my craft. Charlie was good at putting us young guys “at ease” and with his encouragement would help cement a perspective in me and others that giving knowledge and talent back to the industry through voluntary participation in fastener standardization activities is an honor and privilege. Charlie currently holds the title of the longest serving Technical Director of the IFI. In fact, he had already served almost twenty-five years in this role before I would meet him. When he finally hung up his spurs, he had completed 44 years with the IFI, beginning his journey in 1963 and retiring in 2007. During that time, Charlie would accumulate an impressive array of accomplishments and awards. Perhaps several of the more memorable accomplishments include his leadership role in the 1971 initiative to develop the Optimum Metric Fastener System, his Chairmanship of the ASTM Fastener Committee, F16, his Chairmanship of ASME B18.4 which serves as the United States TAG MEMORIAL ARTICLE to the ISO TC2 Fastener Committee, and his work on the Fastener Quality Act in the late 80’s and early 90’s. However, Charlie may be longest remembered for his contribution to Fastener Terminology and his hard work on both the ASME and ASTM terminology standards. For all of his work supporting the fastener industry and standardization, Charlie would be the recipient of a number of very prestigious awards. He was awarded the Centennial Medallion by ASME for excellence in service to the mechanical engineering profession, the Fred F. Weingruber Award by ASTM for his contributions to fastener standardization, and the Frank W. Reinhart Award by ASTM for his contribution to fastener terminology. He received a Certificate of Appreciation from the US Department of Commerce for service to our nation as a member of the Fastener Quality Act Advisory Committee. In 2005, Charlie received one of the highest honors in the fastener industry, the IFI Soaring Eagle George S. Case Sr. Meritorious Service Award. Charlie held a great passion for and possessed a deep knowledge of the fastener industry. I learned a great deal from him, but it was best summed up by a contemporary of mine, that upon learning of Charlie’s passing, shared the following with me, “[Charlie] taught me a lot just being around him.” Charlie was a good colleague and friend, and he will certainly be missed. However, his work has left an enduring legacy that our industry will continue to enjoy for many years to come. LAURENCE CLAUS


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