John Emory Wilson Jr.
Published in the Daily Press on 5/21/2008.
NEWPORT NEWS - John
Emory Wilson Jr., 93, of Newport News, died on Tuesday, May 13, 2008,
in Roanoke, Va.
He was born on Aug. 18, 1914, in Smithfield, Va., to the late Lucy Holland
Wilson and John Emory Wilson.
After high school, he played baseball for seven years in the minor leagues
for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. He then served in the
U.S. Army from 1942 until 1945 as a Forward Observer with the 177th Field
Artillery Battalion under Gen. George Patton's Third Army in the European
Theater of Operations during World War II. Among many commendations, he
was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious
service in military operations.
After his discharge, he worked in Wilson, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Spartanburg,
S.C., and Newport News for the Noland Company as vice president of marketing,
until his retirement in 1980. He was an active, 45-year member of First
United Methodist Church in Newport News and was an avid golfer, hunter
and fisherman. He was a man of character beyond reproach who was a devoted
husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He is survived by the great love of his life, his wife of 67 years, Alice
Rife Wilson; one son, Frederick Emory Wilson and wife, Penny, of Merritt,
N.C.; one daughter, Jacquelene Wilson Gorman and husband, Howard, of Chapel
Hill, N.C.; five grandchildren, Scott Wilson, of New Bern, N.C., Christine
Sherman, of Roanoke, Va., Heath Wilson, of New Bern, N.C., Allison Norris,
of Raleigh, N.C., and Ashley Gorman of Alexandria, Va.; and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2 p.m. June 7,
at First United Methodist Church in Newport News. The Rev. John LeGault
will officiate. A reception at the church will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Virginia
Veteran's Care Center, 4550 Shenandoah Ave. NW, Roanoke, VA 24017, Attn:
Patti Smith. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.