Illustrious Sir Robert W. Wilds, PP
August 30, 1924 - August 31, 2014
Potentate of Murat Shrine - Indianapolis, Indiana in 1981
Illus. Sir Robert Wilds left this world on Sunday, August 31, 2014, after leading a very full and complete life. Bob knew many people and developed many friendships in his lifetime. He started life in 1924 in North Vernon, Indiana where he attended a one-room school house until he was in high school. After graduating from Vernon High School, Bob joined the United States Army to serve in World War II. He moved to Indianapolis after discharge from the Army and completed an apprenticeship in the tool and die industry. With the apprenticeship completed, he worked in several plastic-injection mold manufacturing companies before starting his own company, E-W Mold & Tool Company.
Bob specialized in building molds for the appliance and automotive industries. He developed the ‘locked mold assembly’ that is still used today in molding automotive batteries including the Sears Die Hard, Delco Remy, Interstate and others. He held patents for this process invention in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Germany, and Spain.
Bob’s interest in the automotive industry spurred him to lease a suite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This lease originated when the suites in Turn #2 were built and continued for 40 years. Over the years, many people enjoyed the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race from Suite #260’s balcony.
In December 1986, Bob sold his mold business, but stayed on as its President until he resigned in July 1988 to concentrate on his property management business. He was Chief Executive Officer of Wilds Management Co., Inc., formed in February 1985. Wilds Management manages both financial assets and real estate investments.
Mr. Wilds was an avid Hoosier basketball fan. In 1975, Bob and four other investors purchased the Indiana Pacers to facilitate the Pacers’ transition from the American Basketball Association to the National Basketball Association. They held ownership long enough to get the Pacers admitted into the National Basketball Association to help ensure their continued existence in Indianapolis.
Bob enjoyed spending time at his 900 acre ranching operation in, Jennings County, Triple “S” Ranch. He owned quarter horses and Seminole cattle and used his background in farming to raise crops. Triple “S” was a working ranch and farming operation, but it was also a very fun place for family and friends. Many large parties with hundreds of people were held there.
As much as he loved Indianapolis, Bob was able to escape the harsh Indiana winters and spend time in his homes in Scottsdale, Arizona and Marco Island, Florida.
Mr. Wilds was a member of the American Business Club, the Columbia Club, The Hundred Club, Indianapolis Athletic Club, and Meridian Hills Country Club. He became Potentate of Murat Temple on January 19, 1981, following the successful term of Harry J. Harman. He was appointed to the Divan as Outer Guard in 1972 by Past Potentate John R. Barney. Bob went into the Blue Lodge at Capitol City in 1953, transferring to Southport Masonic Lodge 270 on May 4, 1959. He went into the Scottish Rite on November 13, 1953, and the Shrine on December 12, 1953. He is a member of the Thirty-Third Degree Association, Jesters Court, No. 15, Murat Temple DeMolay Unit, and the Indianapolis Horse Patrol. He held the office of Secretary in the Horse Patrol, and was an active rider with this group, participating in many parades and horse shows. He served on the Board of Citizens Gas & Coke Utility and the Citizen’s Speedway Committee. He was President and a member of the Marion County Sheriff’s merit Board for twenty years. Also, he was presented the Council of the Sagamore by the Wabash designation by then governor, Robert D. Orr.
Mr. Wilds is survived by his wife, ‘T’ Wilds. Bob had three daughters, Sharry Doiron (Bob), Shirley Bryant and Selina Wilds, a step-son, Michael McMullen (Beth), and a step-daughter, Michelle McMullen. Bob also had five grandchildren, Kendra York, Rob Bryant, Morgan Davis, Ross McMullen, and Cerelle McMullen and three great-grandchildren, Zane York, Caden York and Beckett York. He is also survived by his brother, Richard Wilds.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Crown Hill Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 1:00 p.m, also at Crown Hill Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Burns Hospital, 'att'n Lisa Butt,' 3229 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229. If you would like to sign the online guest book or send condolences to the family you may do so by visiting www.crownhill.org.