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Forrest M. “Jack” Wilson passes away June 6, 2019
June 7, 2019
Forrest M. “Jack” Wilson , beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the age of 97. He was born in Lockhart on March 14, 1922, the same birthday as his father, and other than during his military service he lived his entire life in Lockhart.
Jack had a wonderful childhood; he had three older sisters to watch over him, played football, had many friends and graduated from Lockhart High School. In 1941, with the assistance of his sister, he enrolled in Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. After he ran out of funds he left for Waco to help build Waco Army Air Field. He received his draft notice and applied to the Naval Air Corps – he had never been in an airplane. He was inducted into the Schreiner Institute for ground school and duel flight training. From there he was sent to Ft. Ord, California and along with the other cadets was housed in one of the most luxurious hotels of its day in Monterey, California. There they received schooling and Jack said “they were trying to make gentlemen out of us”. Next he was sent to Hutchison, Kansas and learned to fly the Stearman biplane. Then he was posted to Pensacola, Florida where he was given the choice of transferring into the United States Marine Corps. He choose the Marines because “they were the toughest” and it might get him into the war faster. There he flew the F4F Wildcat and then transitioned to his favorite plane – the Vought F4U Cosair. He wanted to get sent in to the fighting but his orders did not come through. Instead he was sent to Floyd Bennett Field, NY. From there he ferried aircraft from factories to airfields all over the United States. He was then sent to Quantico, Virginia for advanced officer training and then he received orders to Peiping, China. After this deployment he was honorably discharged and he returned to Lockhart and went to work for Stripling Blake Lumber Co.
In 1949, he married Fayrene Bolton. Soon after they were married Jack was called back into service for the Korean War. He got the opportunity to learn to fly helicopters in California. Back at home Stephen was born. During this service he participated in the atomic bomb tests in the Nevada desert and was deployed to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. For this assignment he flew out his wife and young son to see the beauty of the islands.
Jack was discharged again in 1954 and returned to work in the lumber business. His daughter, Stephanie, was born in 1955. In 1970 he, along with his partner, George Cardwell, purchased the Lockhart branch of Stripling Blake Lumber. In 1980, Jack bought out his partner and brought in his son-in-law, Mark Riggin, and daughter to operate the business as Wilson Riggin Lumber Co. This business has continued for 49 years.
Jack loved Lockhart and he loved to have fun! He served as a Boy Scout Leader, was a member of the Kiwanis Club, helped establish the “Fun-Tier Days” which is now the Chisholm Trail Roundup & Rodeo, and served on the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He was honored as Lockhart’s Most Worthy Citizen in 1977. And he loved a parade; his enthusiasm for floats was passed on to his family who has continued this tradition for over 40 years.
His beloved Fayrene passed away in 1989. A couple years later he married Kathaline Harrell. He was doubly blessed to have two beautiful women and an extended family to share his life with. He spent his days with Kathy at Parkview Nursing and Rehab, having coffee at the lumber yard and helping with the Presbyterian Church. Jack was a true believer that “there is a God” and but for the Lord’s intervention he would not have had the wonderful life he did. He loved his family and his community, he never met a stranger and his good attitude was a shining example of how to live a life.
A celebration of his life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church Life Center on Thursday, June 13th from 5-8p.m. Honorary pallbearers to include: Rosario Hernandez, James O. Lipscomb, Harold “Hank” Wilson, Daryl Ray, Russell Barron, Bob Peebles, Tommy Lambert, Fred Willms and Steve Lawson.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Charles Laurence and his staff, the special angels at Parkview Nursing and Rehab and Todd Blomerth.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church.
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