Willie Wilson was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, on November 30, 1933, to the late Theodore “Ted” and Rosalee Clay Wilson. Willie had two brothers and one sister. He grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, then he relocated to Columbus, Ohio, in 1952 after serving in the Air Force. Later he married the love of his life, Juanita Dawson, and celebrated 50 years of marriage earlier this year.
Willie was a long-standing member at Laborer’s Local 423. He was a Laborer since February 28, 1998. He had been dispatched and had performed work for various contractors. Willie was always a hard worker. His last job was the completion of the Hollywood Casino on the west side of Columbus, Ohio. Then he retired in October 2011.
Willie was a former member of Mount Herman Missionary Baptist Church, where he served on the Usher Board. Willie joined World Harvest Church in May 1982 and attended until May 2011. Willie served on the Usher Board. He later attended Family Worship Center and remained faithful until his death. Willie was kind, loving, and God-fearing man who was full of life.
To be in his presence was sheer joy! He would make you laugh and knew no stranger. When you left Willie, you knew you were loved. He was known as the “Candyman,” because he would pass out peppermint candy at church. Everyone loved it.
Willie LOVED all sports but especially the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Browns. Willie was quite the card player. He was undefeated in Spades and Tunk. Willie was the life of the party. From church functions to family functions, he loved everyone and he could also “cut a rug.” Willie will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live in our hearts forever!
At the age of 87 years old, Willie was welcomed into the company of his ancestors: his mother and father, Rosalee Clay and Theodore “Ted” Wilson; brothers, Leroy Wilson and Alphonso Wilson; and sister, Helen Marie Ward.
His memories will forever be cherished by: his wife and caretaker, Juanita Wilson; his loving daughters, Angela “Nookie” Wilson and Cynthia (William) Dent; sons, William (Rena) Wilson and
Derrick (Rahwa) Wilson; three grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and devoted friends.
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