Emeritus Professor of Geography
Department of Earth Sciences, U.S.A.


 Eugene Murphey Wilson

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Eugene Murphey Wilson (Ph.D.), loving husband and father of 3 children, passed away surrounded by his family at his long-time home in Fairhope, at the age of 88.

Gene was born in 1931 in Augusta, Georgia to Charles and Virginia Wilson. He completed his masters and doctoral work at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He taught Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Alabama (1963-69). Following the completion of his doctorate in 1969, Dr. Wilson joined the faculty of the University of South Alabama where he retired 27 years later as Emeritus Professor of Geography in 1996. He has authored and coauthored several books, monographs and hundreds of papers during his professional career and is cited in dozens of publications.

His research interests began in the American South studying and photographing folk houses in Alabama. Captivated by the Mobile River Delta and and the region’s coastal morphology, he enthusiastically participated in the continuing search for Mabila, where the decisive battle between the Spanish army of Hernando de Soto and the force of Indian warriors, led by Chieftain Tascalusa, took place. The time between these two research focal points in his career was filled with his passion for the cultural geography of Latin America, which he pursued for 40 years.

Dr. Wilson was a long-time participant and office holder in several organizations such as the Mobile-Puerto Barrios Partner Cities and the Alabama-Guatemala Partners of the Americas. He was also an active member in the Association of American Geographers at both the national and regional levels. In 1975 Dr. Wilson received the Award of Merit from the Alabama Historical Commission for his Guide to Rural Folk Houses in Alabama and Alabama Folk Houses. He was also a proud member of “Friends of the Fairhope Museum” as well as The (Single Tax) Colony of Fairhope.

Gene was preceded in death by his father, Charles and his mother, Virginia. He is survived by his wife Käthe, three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

A funeral service was held on Friday, May 8, 2020 at the Wolfe-Bayview Chapel in Fairhope. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the service was limited to family; however, a memorial service with Honor Guard is planned at a future date at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Please check back to this site for further updates and notifications on the upcoming Memorial Service for Dr. Eugene Wilson.



Obituary by Robert Glennon, Editor of the Friends of Fairhope Museum newsletter



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Dr. Wilson’s Teaching and Research


Cultural Geography

“Geography” means Earth Writing, which is what geographers do. We study the Earth and the people on it, and we write about our discoveries; how the Earth affects people, and how people affect the Earth.

“Culture” is the collection of behaviors and traditions of a group of people. Consequently, Cultural Geography involves studying how the physical environment interacts with the traditions of people. Studying cultural geography involves fieldwork or spending extended periods of time in specific geographic locations. Our work continues by interviewing the indigenous people and residents of a particular area. We also conduct surveys and create maps and models of the geographic locations we study.




Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D.

Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D.

Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D. F-Hope Pier

Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D. Fairhope

Eugene M. Wilson, Ph.D. Pier Fairhope