John Williams Wilson, Jr.

Published 6:22 pm Friday, August 1, 2014


John Williams Wilson, Jr., 100, left for his heavenly home from Picayune, Miss. on Friday, August 1, 2014 with his loving wife by his side.

Mr. Wilson was the first-born child of Dr. John W. Wilson and Frankie Elizabeth Newton Wilson. He was born in Sontag, MS, but spent his youth in Monticello, Miss.. After graduating from Copiah-Lincoln High School/Junior College, he graduated from State Teachers’ College (University of Southern Mississippi) in 1935. He was a charter member of the Pearl River County University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association.

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From 1942-1945, Mr. Wilson served in the Navy in the European Theater of Operations with tours in North Africa and Italy. After serving his country in World War II, he graduated from University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy in 1948.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were owners of Wilson’s Pharmacy (1953-1973) and Westside Pharmacy (1976-1996) in Picayune, MS. He was vice president of the Mississippi State Board of Pharmacy.  At the age of 90, Mr. Wilson received the Distinguished Service Award from the State of Mississippi for being the oldest practicing pharmacist in the state.

He was a member of the Picayune Evening Lions Club (30 years) where he served as President (1991-1992) and Treasurer (1995-1996). He received many awards including the Melvin Jones Award. Mr. Wilson was also a member of the Rotary Club (President) and Secretary of the Picayune City School Board (1962-1966). He was paid for life member (PULF) of the American Legion Post #73 (60 years), and was Chef de Gare of the 40&8 in 1988-1989, which is an elite organization of the American Legion. He was an active member of the Shriners.

Mr. Wilson was a Deacon at Picayune First Baptist Church and was awarded Deacon Emeritus in 2013. He served on numerous church committees. He was a member of Gideon’s International.

On August 6, 2013, Mr. Wilson received the Key to the City of Picayune, and that day was named as John W. Wilson, Jr. Day.

Mr. Wilson was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Elizabeth Kendall, Newton Wilson, Charles Wilson, Dr. George Wilson, Mary Frances Foshee, son-in-law Dr. Jim Herring, and grandson Ashley Herring.

Mr. Wilson is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 74 years, Helen F. Wilson, daughters Ann Herring of Biloxi, MS and Libby (Geoff) Dobbyn of Gulfport, MS, siblings, Tom (Ann) Wilson of Ocean Springs, MS and Margaret (Frank) Walsh of Rio Rancho, NM, granddaughter Olivia (Brian) Tolson of Clermont, FL, great-grandchildren, John Ashton Herring, Dallas Herring, William Herring of Harlingen, TX, Jacob Herring of Houston, TX, Halee Tolson, Abigail Tolson, and Thomas Tolson of Clermont, FL, brother-in-law Joe Fortenberry of Picayune, MS, and sisters-in-law Barbara Fortenberry of Jackson, MS and Janelle Wilson of Gulfport, MS. Mr. Wilson is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers are Kenneth Fortenberry, Troy Flowers, Ken Hall, Mike Pind, George Lods, and Tom Stewart.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made to REG, First Baptist Church of Picayune, P.O. Box 477, Picayune, MS 39466.

The family wishes to thank Nell Crawford, Tiffany Patrick, Linda Stockstill, Joanne Davison, and Covenant Rehabilitation Staff for their devoted care of our husband and father.

The visitation will be one hour prior to the 11:00am funeral service at First Baptist Church of Picayune, MS on Monday, August 4, 2014. Interment will be in New Palestine Cemetery.  McDonald Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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