Services for “Dave” Wilson will be conducted at Beech Springs Baptist Church, Saturday, July 23, 2016. Family will receive visitors beginning at 10 a.m. at the church. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. wth the Rev. Ronnie Whitlock officiating. Immediately following the service interment will be at the Gardens of Memory with full Military Honors.
Dave left this world early on July 16 and slipped peacefully into the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, surrounded by his loving wife, Linda and sister-in-law, Sue T. Martin. He had fought a courageous battle with Lung Cancer and COPD for the past 16 months. His final struggle with this world ended and he entered into his final rest without fear, pain or discomfort.
Dave was born June 23, 1948 to William Fred and Juanita Huber Wilson in Columbus, Georgia. As a young high school student Dave worked after school at the local textile mills, earning money for that first car! He learned billiards and became quite the pool shark on the table his father put in their garage. The three sons and numerous neighboring young men learned their skills of the game at that table. Until his sickness he was still quite the competitor to anyone who wanted to challenge him on his table.
Upon graduation Dave entered the U.S. Army and served in the Infantry as a mechanic and then went on to become a turbine engine mechanic on the UH-1 Huey Helicopter. That is where he became set on becoming a UH-1 Huey Pilot. His best friend John E. Pike, (now of over 40 yrs.) encouraged him to go to Flight School. So, at the age of 36, Dave was the oldest candidate to be accepted and successfully complete the Rotary Wing Aviation and the UH-1 Maintenance Test Pilot Courses.
During his 23-year Army career Dave spent two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. Having served at numerous bases in the U.S. as well as Europe, Dave was honorably discharged Nov. 1989. After a short visit stateside Dave’s love of flying was calling. He accepted a position as Maintenance Test Pilot with DynCorp. DynCorp had been contracted to overhaul and rebuild UH-1 Huey aircraft being phased out of the Army Inventory and sold to Allies. Dave worked there until he delivered his last UH-1 to Bosnia late 1999.
In March 2000 Dave and Linda Thompson McRae came to Minden where they were united in marriage in her sister and brother-in-law’s home. Returning shortly to Germany where Linda was working with the U.S. Army as a Logistician (Dept. of Army Civilian) with a commitment to conclude her tour in July 2000 and return to stateside assignment at Ft Benning, Georgia. Shortly after returning to Germany, Dave prepared to retire AGAIN and moved to Columbus, Georgia to oversee the construction of their retirement home. They lived happily in that home until the year 2010 when Dave took Linda home to Minden where they built a new home as their last move.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, William Fred and Juanita Wilson. He is survived by his loving wife of 16 years, Linda Thompson Wilson, brother James D. Wilson, Fortson, Georgia, brother Fred Douglas Wilson, Tallahassee, Florida, son David Wayne (Mary Kay), Phenix City, Alabama, son Robert Scott (Amy), Campti, Alabama, grandsons Brandon Chase, Phenix City, and Wesley Owen, Campti. He is also survived by step-son, Jeff A. McRae, Euless, Texas, step-daughter, Brooke M. Watts (Larry) Alexandria, and step grandchildren Britney J. Watts, Shreveport, LA, Bridget W. Worsham (Kensie), Keithville and Bryce Trevor Watts, Alexandria.
There were a lot of special friends in Dave’s life-John E. Pike, friend for over 40 years and fellow Huey Pilot; Tim Bass, Vida, Alabama, his hunting buddy who took him on so many trips up north to enjoy his favorite sport. He also enjoyed other past times with friends too numerous to mention.
Special thanks to Dr. Anil Veluvolu and staff at the Willis Knighton Cancer Center. They compassionately assisted Dave in his fight against the Big “C”! Thanks to the wonderful service of the staff of Willis Knighton-Pierremont, the Minden Medical Center ER Dept., 2nd Floor Nursing personnel and the Rehab department who tried to restore Dave to his prior abilities. They were all so kind and loving and are greatly appreciated. Thanks to his family physician, Dr. Christopher Earnhardt and his staff who have been wonderful care takers for the past 6 years. Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Lee who admitted Dave to his last hospital stay. Even though we only knew her for a short time, she was so kind, professional and caring.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Beech Springs Baptist Church, 15910 US Hwy 80, Minden, LA 71055 or the Gideons International.