He Was A Gentleman With A Heart of Gold
Willie L. Wilson, age 92, died on October 8, 2020. at Memorial Hospital after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He was a proud US Air Force veteran with over 20 years of service. Mr. Wilson was a founding member of the NORAD Command Band and a member of the renowned Singing Sergeants. He played the flute beautifully and his speaking voice was truly melodious as well. He was a philanthropist from the heart. For many years after his military retirement, it was his life pleasure to help his elder friends, his neighbors, relatives, and community. No doubt, they all were enriched, and lightened through his loving kindnesses. Mr. Wilson took particular interest in facilitating higher education for Black youth. He was a gentleman with a heart of gold, born in Jacksonville, Florida to Fannie and Lonnie Wilson who both preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister, Dorothy, nieces, nephews, and cousins who all mourn his passing. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized due to the present pandemic; however, Mr. Wilson is set to receive full military honors, and will be laid to rest next to his mother at historic Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville. Final arrangements will be forthcoming.
Our deepest sympathies go out to Willie’s family. You don’t know us (you may have seen our photo in Willie’s room), but Willie was also part of our family and we are deeply saddened by his passing. We’ve known Willie since 1971 when Jerry joined the NORAD Band. He is already deeply missed. Patti & Jerry Grandel
FAREWELL TO ONE OF GOD’S BLESSINGS, WILLIE WILSON. Willie was a gentle man who was very humble. He most likely would never have told his friends about his career in music. I would like you all to know that I toured with Willie in THE NORAD “Cavalcade of Music” BAND, one of the greatest bands in military history. Willie Wilson performed in CARNEGIE HALL, THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR and many other venues in North and Central America. I have a historical collection of NORAD BAND photos. If you would like to see some of the photographs, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I do not have personal photos of Willie, just photographs of the entire band. GOD BLESS remaining family and friends. Willie, you left fond memories. You were a model USAF Sergeant. Pete Rosa, SMSgt / E-8, USAF Retired,
March 2, 2021. Happy First Heavenly Birthday, “Uncle Willie”, aka Uncle Toadie. Gosh, these past few months we would have a ton of things to chat about. I still go to call you and then remember… Hoping you’ve met up with dad and are discussing the good old band days with NORAD. and perhaps mom greeted you with some of your favorite home made rolls. Life’s just not the same without your wisdom, intelligence and pure kindness. I miss and love you so much. The rest of the gang does as well. Beverly De Witt and De Witt family.