Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
John. W. Wilson, R.Ph., of Picayune, celebrated his 100th birthday on Tuesday, Aug. 6 with family and friends.
Wilson has been happily married to Helen Porter Fortenberry since 1940. He is the father of two daughters, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Wilson, a veteran of World War II, graduated from Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) and the University of Mississippi, where he received his degree in pharmacy. He opened Wilson’s Pharmacy in Picayune, in 1953 which he operated until 1973. In 1976 he opened Westside Pharmacy in a new location, which he operated until 1996. When John Wilson was 90-years-old, he was recognized by the State Board of Pharmacy for being the oldest practicing pharmacist in the state.
During the time he served the community through his business, he also served in many organizations. He was the secretary of the State Board of Pharmacy; former president of the Picayune Lions Club; Lifetime member of the American Legion, Mason and Shriner, served on the Picayune School Board, member of Gideons International and has served as a Deacon in First Baptist Church, where he continues to be an active member.
As a Lion, he was the recipient of The Melvin Jones Award and Lion of the Year among other awards. As a member of the American Legion, he is a member of the Forty and Eight which is an invitation only club for Legion elite who focus on community service.
Wilson was honored at the City Council meeting Tuesday with a Key to the City.
Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero said, “Mr. Wilson is an amazing man who has blessed Picayune with his talents and numerous contributions. It is a pleasure to know him. He is a great man!”
“Mr. Wilson has been an incredible member of the community for over 60 years. During this time he has made enormous contributions in a variety of ways,” said Picayune city council member Wayne Gouget.