Cover photo for Wilson Duprey's Obituary
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1924 Wilson 2020

Wilson Duprey

June 21, 1924 — August 25, 2020

Wilson Gilliland Duprey died at 4:47 AM on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at Vancrest of Van Wert. He was born June 21, 1924 in Van Wert, the son of the late Rei and Berneace (Gilliland) Duprey. He was also preceded in death by an older brother, Richard Eugene Duprey.

He graduated from Van Wert High School in 1942.

After spending two years at The Ohio State University in Columbus, he transferred to George Washington University in Washington D.C. where he graduated with his B.A. in 1946. At Columbia University in 1948 he graduated with his Master's from the School of Library Service. Prior to going to Columbia University he had worked at the Library of Congress from 1944 to 1948. From 1949 to 1953 he was on the library staff of Stanford University, as Assistant in the Rare Book Room. From 1953 to 1966 he was an assistant in the Prints Division of the New York Public Library where he worked not only with original prints but with rare books and manuscripts of the Spencer Collection. From 1966 to 1974 he was the Curator of the Map and Print Room of the New York Historical Society, in New York City. In 1974 he returned to Van Wert to retire, but in 1976 he became the Director of the Brumback Library in Van Wert, and remained there until his retirement in 1985.

Wilson crisscrossed the United States many times, starting in 1932 when he and his brother drove to California with their parents, starting his addiction to travel, which they termed "travelitis". As a result he made 14 trips to Europe following his personal and professional interests in the fine arts and libraries.

In Van Wert he had been a member of the Men's Garden Club, the Van Wert County Historical Society. He was also a member of the Toledo Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the Wine Label Circle, and the Wayward Tendrils.

Wilson has chosen to be cremated with no memorial services.

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilson Duprey, please visit our flower store.


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