Herbert "Coach" Wilson
Herbert "Coach" Wilson went to be with his Lord and Savior Friday, August 16, 2013. Coach was born September 14, 1920 in Drew, Mississippi. He attended high school in Indianola, Mississippi, where he was the captain of the 1939 Indianola football team that won the mythical state championship.
After high school, he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a gunnery instructor. After discharge from the service, he graduated from Delta State Teachers College. He came to Gulfport High School where he taught history, coached the girls' basketball team, and was an assistant football coach. He then became the director of recreation for the city of Gulfport where he remained until his retirement 33 years later. During his tenure he was instrumental in forming baseball, basketball, and football leagues for the children of Gulfport. He also taught swimming for many years.
Over the years Coach received many awards. Some of them include the Gulfport Rotary Club William Harris Hardy Award in 2003, the Legion of Honor award for being a member of Kiwanis for sixty years, the George F. Hixson Award from the Kiwanis Club, Contribution to Amateur Football Award and Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame incorporated, a resolution from the Mississippi Legislature commending Herb Wilson upon retirement, he was named an Honorary Admiral by Mayor Bob Short, he received the Young Man of the Year and Outstanding Young Man of the Year from the Gulfport Jaycees. Mayor Ken Combs declared a "Herbert Wilson Day" in the city of Gulfport. Herbert Wilson's contribution to Gulfport is not just remembered by the building named for him, but by every life that he influenced and encouraged to do his or her best.
He was a member of the Gulfport Kiwanis Club for over sixty years where served as club president and Lt. Governor. He was instrumental in starting the "pancake day" and was an active participant for many years. He also served on the board of directors for the Salvation Army, as well as on the West Harrison County Cancer Society. He was the secretary for the Gulf Coast Officials Association and a football official for many years.
Herbert was a member of First Baptist Church of Gulfport where he taught Sunday school classes and was a Deacon for many years. He also served on many committees of the church.
Herbert was preceded in death by his beloved wife of sixty-eight years, Edna Gentry Wilson; by his father and mother, Charlie Dale and Vena Phillips Wilson; and by five brothers, Hubert Wilson, William Clarence "Boogie" Wilson, Joseph Warren "Pot" Wilson, Charles Dale "Krip" Wilson, and Thomas Oliver "Pete" Wilson.
Herbert is survived by his three sons, Charles Thomas Wilson (Ann) of Blairsville, Georgia; Herbert Wayne Wilson (Sabra) of Saucier, Mississippi; and Dr. James Allen Wilson (Roxanne) of Lakeland, Florida. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Curtis Gentry (Kate) of Gulfport and 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 23, 2013, at First Baptist Church, Gulfport, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. in the church sanctuary.
Burial will follow at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to First Baptist Church of Gulfport Building Fund, 12190 Hwy 605 Gulfport, MS 39503, or to one's favorite charity.
Tributes may be shared with the family atwww.riemannfamily.com
Published in The Sun Herald on Aug. 19, 2013