Jay Frank Wilson, age 92, of Harrison, AR passed away on Wednesday February 10, 2021. He was born March 6, 1928, son of William Jefferson Wilson and Mary Lemmer (Wagley) Wilson.
While on a blind “double” date, Jay met his future wife Rena Mae Dickens (who happened to be the other man’s date). He would later say that he knew when he saw Rena that she was “the one”. They were married on February 25, 1952 at the courthouse in Harrison, AR, witnessed by Mary Rose Dickens and Dan Wilson. Jay and Rena raised ten children and would have celebrated their 69th anniversary this year.
Jay Frank served in the Korean War and later retired from the National Guard. Through the years Jay worked several different occupations to provide for his large family. Some of the occupations included: road crew member for the Arkansas Hwy Department, caretaker at First National Bank of Green Forest, serviceman for Montgomery Ward, security guard for the hospital in Harrison, and others. At home Jay was a hard worker too. He always kept a large garden that he tended, cut wood, and cleared brush.
Jay Frank was a member of the Ridgeway Church of Christ. He loved his family. Each new family member he met, child or grandchild, would receive a thorough assessment from the size of their feet (or “mudhooks” as he called them) to a gentle rub of their head. Then at some point all were blessed with at least one nickname. Jay was respected by those who knew him. He was firm and straightforward, but fair and there was never a doubt where he stood on any subject. He will be greatly missed, but there is comfort in knowing he is united with his loving wife.
He is survived by his children; Mary Lou (Wilson) Gibbany of Farmington AR, Danny Wilson and wife Treva of Omaha, AR, William (Bill) Wilson and wife Dorothy of Alpena, AR, Marvin Wilson, Joe Wilson both of Green Forest, AR, Elizabeth (Wilson) Larimer and husband Dwight of Bentonville, AR, Lema Wilson of Alpena, AR, and Noah Wilson of Bartlesville, OK; seventeen grandchildren, many great and great-great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife Rena Mae Wilson, his parents, four brothers: Dan Wilson, Willard Wilson, Jack Wilson, and Marvin Wilson; four sisters: Elizabeth Adellote, Mary Jo Roberts, Billy Jean Hamilton, and Helen Fox; and two sons: Tracy Dearing Wilson and John Robert Wilson.
Visitation is 12-1 PM Saturday February 20th at Smith Family Funeral Home in Green Forest. Private family graveside is at Farewell Cemetery.
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