Lori Wilson | Passages

August 30, 1957 to June 8, 2018

Lori Ann Wilson died peacefully on June 8, 2018 surrounded by loved ones in a flower-filled room at Skagit Valley Hospital. During her last days, many calls and visitors assured Lori of their gratitude for her many good works and shining example.

Lori was born in Tonawanda, New York State, on August 30, 1957 to Jean Ruth Baker and James LaFleur, both of Tonawanda. She was legally adopted by Donald Wilson and raised as his own daughter upon his marriage to her mother in 1962.

Lori’s affection for the lake, the ocean, the forest, and all their creatures started with early childhood vacations spent at a nearby lake and the small family cabin.

Her love of animals inspired her to earn a degree as a veterinarian technician, which was her chief support for a number of years. In 1983 she married Tom Carter, and together they created a kayaking guide business, Shearwater Kayaks of Orcas Island. Later, she went on to travel alone, and her adventures took her to India, Tibet, and eventually to the Dalai Lama, to Zen master Shodo Harada Roshi in Japan, and to Plum Village with Thich Nhat Han in France. Her Buddhist studies and practice grew to be the dominant influence of her life.

In 1996 she decided to attend Bastyr University via the Northwest Institute of Oriental Medicine where she earned a certification in acupuncture. From that time forward, she practiced acupuncture. Her specialty became the healing of women and children who had suffered from emotional and physical violence, as well as neglected and suffering animals. She married Daniel Sholl on Orcas Island in 1999 and in 2002 they moved to Guanajuato, Mexico, where she helped to found an animal rescue center, Las Animales. She worked closely with Buen Pastor, The Home of the Good Shepherd, in a shelter for traumatized women and children. She returned to live on Orcas Island around 2012 while maintaining contact with her Mexican alliances through extended yearly visits. She and Sholl were divorced in 2016.

Lori is survived by her father, Donald Wilson, her brother, Donald Wilson, Jr., her sister, Amy Ruth Roj, two nieces, Savannah and Katie Roj, and nephew Ryan Roj as well as her honorary daughter, Lupita (Maria Guadalupe Hernandez Tapia) and grandson Oliver in Guanajuato City, Mexico. Her two dogs, Kiwi and Yoda, and her cat, Sylvia, have all found good homes on Orcas. A multitude of friends join the family in their shared sorrow.

Lori is irreplaceable. Her focus in life was to help others, both animal and human. Her loss leaves a hole in our community that will take a long time to heal.

Donations in Lori’s honor may be made to the Orcas Community Resource Center PO Box 931, 374 A North Beach Road, Eastsound, Washington 98245, 360-376-3184.