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THE SERVICE WILL NOT BE LIVE STREAMED TODAY.ALL SERVICE WILL BE POSTED AT A LATER DATE
Unite with us in prayer as we reflect on the life of Mr. William Earl Wilson, 88 of Winterville, died on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at his residence.
William was born February 10, 1935, in Craven County to the late John H. Wilson and Maggie Adams Wilson.
At an early age Earl showed a thirst for knowledge and went on to become an “A” student in every school he attended. He graduated as valedictorian from Bethel High School in Bethel, N.C. in May 1952. Later that fall he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantry soldier and completed the Airborne School where he earned his “jump wings”. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 188th Infantry Airborne Regiment in Korea, a combat zone. He often talked about how fast the bullets whizzed by his head, but he remained vigilant and kept his head down while he performed his job in Korea. He earned several military awards, including the Korean Service Medal (with two bronze service stars), United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Parachute Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. After completing his three-year enlistment, he left the Army in September 1955, and resumed civilian life.
For a short time, he moved to Connecticut and worked several jobs while living with his sister, Delphia. Earl then headed back to North Carolina and with the support of mentors and family, he enrolled at North Carolina Central University, using the G.I. Bill. He got a solid education, met many lifelong friends, and received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and General Science. After graduation, he went on to teach chemistry, biology, and general science with energy and enthusiasm. For several years he stopped teaching and worked at the National Institutes of Health as a Biologist focusing on cancer research. He also went on to earn his Master of Science from American University in Microbiology.
He lived in Virginia for most of his working years, while raising his young daughters. After teaching for many years, he took additional classes at the University of Virginia in curriculum and instruction to prepare for opportunities in school administration. Earl went on to become Principal of South Lakes High School and Luther Jackson Intermediate School in Fairfax County, Virginia. He joined the local graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Zeta Upsilon Lambda Chapter in Reston Virginia and served as the Historian and Secretary before becoming a life member in 1988. He enjoyed supporting local causes and performing community service with his fraternity.
He retired from the Fairfax County School System in 1991 and returned to Greenville, N.C. He held several consulting positions where he was responsible for interviewing and hiring secondary teachers before briefly becoming Assistant Principal of Ayden-Grifton High School. After several years he stopped working completely.
Earl was a member of Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C. He volunteered with the Young at Heart Ministry and Senior Saints. In addition, he served as Treasurer for many years and took pride in ensuring accurate, timely, and well-organized operations. He was also the longtime President of the Sheffield Homeowners Association, where he owned a home.
He loved to fish and had quite a collection of fishing gear and always knew the best spots to do so. He also was an avid armchair sports buff and enjoyed watching his favorite basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers. A pool shark, he loved billiards and was very hard to beat, often bringing his own cue stick with him when he traveled so that he could play with family and friends. He also enjoyed word games, Scrabble, and completing the daily Jumble from the local newspaper.
Earl believed in philanthropy; he was a loyal member of the North Carolina Central Alumni Association, playing it forward for the next generation of students.
In additional to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Pearlie, Walter, John, Maggie, James, Troy, Hattie May, Rosa, and Delphia.
His family will continue to cherish their many memories, including daughters: Stephanie Dawson of Greenville, Pamela Wilson Edwards (Vaughn) of Chantilly, Virginia, and Patrice Wilson Edmonds (Curtis) of Fredericksburg, Virginia; grandson Vaughn, Jr. known as VJ; special loved one Terry Claiborne of Greenville, special nieces Doris Bentil (Charles) and Ethel Lytle; as well as, a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
The service celebrating his life and legacy will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, January 27, 2024, from sanctuary of the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, Greenville
Burial will follow in the Homestead Memorial Gardens.
Mr. Wilson will lie in state for public viewing from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM Friday, January 26,2024 at the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church and will resume one hour prior to the service.
" A Service with The Spirit of Excellence Dignity & Devotion"
Provided to the family of Mr. William Earl Wilson
We ask that you join us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer.