Walter Gene Wilson of Wilson, NC, passed away on April 18, 2023 at Wilson Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Gene was 88 years old.
Gene was born in Fairfield, Illinois on August 9, 1934 to Lawrence Fyie and Edith Mary (Hutchcraft) Wilson. Despite being born in the middle of the Great Depression and living through the absence of his father during World War II, Gene spoke often of his loving and happy childhood surrounded by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins as well as his parents and living siblings, Mary Marjorie (Wilson) Poole and William Boyd “Bill” Wilson.
He met the love of his life, Glenda Lee (Bean) Wilson, at Mount Vernon’s Barbeque Haven in the late 1950s and recalled, “Once I saw her, that was it.” He and Glenda married in 1961 in Bluford, Illinois and had their only child, Julia Carole Wilson, in 1962.
Gene graduated from Mount Vernon Township High School (IL) in 1952. He attended Southern Illinois University and Millikin University (Decatur, IL), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. He spent most of his long career in the tire and rubber industry, moving from technical supervisor to plant manager. His career took Gene and his family from Decatur, Illinois to Findlay, Ohio, and Clarksdale, Mississippi. Gene and Glenda also lived in Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, and North Carolina; in addition, he worked briefly in Mexico and Canada. Gene retired in 2000.
Gene’s family was the true center of his life. Selfless and protective, he dedicated his life to assuring their comfort and safety. He was a devoted husband and best friend to his wife and a strong, gentle, and loving hero to his daughter. They will miss him deeply; for them, the light shines less brightly without his living presence in the world. He was besotted with his granddaughters, Grace Angelica Wilson Lane and Miriah Michelle Wilson Lane, who will miss their funny, sweet, kind, and caring Papa Gene. His nieces and nephews, along with family and friends, will miss his wise counsel and deep love for them.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Edith Wilson, and his siblings June Wilson, Bill Wilson, and Margie Poole. He is survived by his wife, Glenda Wilson of Wilson, NC; his daughter Julia Wilson, son-in-law Joseph H. Lane, Jr., and granddaughters, Grace and Miriah Lane of Raleigh, NC; and two nieces, five nephews and their families.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held in the summer of 2023.
Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at www.joyners.net.