Joseph O. Wilson, Sr. (Joe), age 97, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Joe was born November 8, 1922, to C.W. and Bealie Wilson, and lived his entire life in the Lonoke community. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gretchen, his parents, six brothers and three sisters.
Joe joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during World War II. Following the war he married the love of his life, Gretchen Groce, and farmed for 40 years. Together they had four children, Carla (Jimmy) Miller of Lonoke, Iris Jo Wilson of Lonoke, Franklin (Kathy) Wilson of Murfreesboro, TN, and Joey (Anita) Wilson of Lonoke. Other survivors include Grandchildren David (Jennifer) Miller, Trudy (Jeff) Stinson, Kristen (Dustin) Scott, Belinda (Nick) Edgar, and Megan Wilson; ten great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Joe joined the Lonoke Baptist Church in 1935, and was an active member who faithfully attended church until the Covid-19 pandemic prevented him from being able to attend. Joe was a 32nd degree mason and member of the Lonoke Masonic Lodge #51 since 1956. He has been a member of Lonoke Lions Club since 1962, serving in all positions at some time. He had a big heart for the Lonoke Exceptional School (Building Bridges). Joe’s involvement with various civic and community organizations earned him many accolades and awards over the years, including Lonoke Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and Order of the Oak.
Joe never met a stranger, and always had a special seat at the table at Pruietts. Special thanks to Rhonda for treating him like family.
Visitation will begin at 1:00 pm Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Lonoke Baptist Church. Funeral will follow at 2:00 pm with a private burial at Lonoke Cemetery. All Covid restrictions, including masks and social distancing will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Building Bridges-Lonoke, P.O. Box 980, Lonoke, AR 72086 or to Lonoke Baptist Church, 406 West Front Street, Lonoke, AR 72086. Services will be live streamed on Lonoke Baptist Church Facebook page. Arrangements entrusted to Boyd Funeral Home, Lonoke.