Division of Archives and Records Service
Val at the Archives in 1988

Remembering Val Wilson

Jim Kichas
February 14, 2024

Our hearts are hurting as we received word that Val Wilson, a former colleague and friend to many of us at the State Archives, passed away last month. 

Val began his career at the State Archives in 1969 and remained on staff until his retirement in 2005—over 36 years! Val was an excellent reference archivist and had an incredible working knowledge of the State Archives holdings. It isn’t uncommon to see him listed in the “Thanks” section of many books on Utah’s history.

Val was always extremely kind and generous to his friends and colleagues. He would often make lunchtime walks to Sam Weller’s (where he worked as a teenager) and return with books that he would thoughtfully gift to his coworkers. And many of us have collections of Val Wilson art that he would craft from found objects he discovered around town or on his frequent trips into Utah’s west desert. After he retired in 2005, Val stayed connected with many of us on staff by forwarding along newspaper clippings he came across from the New York Times.

Val was a great friend and a great archivist, and he will be missed by many.

This interview was conducted by Chris Vanocur, KUTV, Channel 2 News, of Val Wilson, Utah State Archives regarding old, obscure laws still on the books. It aired in October 1988. This recording was done on a VCR by a Department of Administrative Services staff member and given to the Utah State Archives.