Wiltonian marks 90 years in town

John James Dotson has woken up in the same area of town since he was born on his family homestead near the area of Horseshoe Road in 1924.

Mr. Dotson now lives just 100 yards from his original home on Wolfpit Road.

Mr. Dotson is a lifelong resident of Wilton who celebrated his milestone 90th birthday during a surprise party on Sunday, Jan. 5, at the Wilton Congregational Church.

More than 100 friends and family members attended, including a representative of the Veterans Administration, as well as First Selectman Bill Brennan.

The longtime Wiltonian is a master carpenter, and a well-known antiques restorer who did considerable work restoring objects to their original condition for local historical organizations and churches, Mr. Dotson’s son, John, said.

He is also a veteran who served in the Army during World War II.

“During the war John served in the 3rd Army under Gen. George Patton, in the 520th Heavy Maintenance Ordnance,” his son said.

“He landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day, and earned four battle stars for participation in battles in northern France, Reinland, Ardennes, and central Europe.”

Much has changed since Mr. Dotson first took a breath in an expansive rural community known as Wilton, and the population has boomed from just under 1,300 residents during the year of his birth to more than 17,000 today.

Gone are the days of small farms and slow days in Wilton, replaced by financial executives and quick commutes to New York City.

Mr. Brennan said last week it was important to honor Mr. Dotson as a man who dedicated his life to the town that so many citizens have come to love.

“It’s a tradition to recognize citizens who have contributed significantly to Wilton,” he said.

“Mr. Dotson was born here in Wilton, and lived here his entire life. It’s a pleasure on my part to be able to honor him with a proclamation, and express on behalf of the entire community appreciation for all he has done for the town.”

In his proclamation, Mr. Brennan praised Mr. Dotson’s dedication to making Wilton a better place for all to live, whether they were the farmers of his youth or the businessmen of the present.

“John has been a lifelong member of the Wilton community, attended Wilton schools, and through his many carpentry and cabinetmaking skills helped to build Wilton, making it a better to place to live and raise a family,” it reads.