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Edith R. Wilson

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MONTPELIER -- Edith R. Wilson, 86, most recently of Montpelier and then Woodridge Nursing Home in Berlin, died peacefully early Friday morning, Dec. 16, 2005.

She was born in Carnegie, Pa., on Jan. 18, 1919, the daughter of Frank J. and Teresa (Fabian) Regina. They later moved to the small town of Marienville, Pa., where Edith enjoyed a happy childhood with three brothers and three sisters.

She subsequently worked at Martin Aircraft Co. in Baltimore where her work was so excellent the company was encouraged to hire more women. While there she met W. Philip “Phil” Walker, from Rutland, whom she married in 1943. After living in several locations, while Phil was in the Air Force, they returned to Vermont to settle. Phil was a teacher and then principal in Danby, Arlington and finally Bennington, and Edith was a homemaker and wonderful mother to their five children.

She was a lifelong Catholic and member of St. Francis De Sales Church in Bennington and other churches through the years.

Edith later became director of the hot lunch program at Molly Stark School where Phil was principal. She also was an avid gardener, and enjoyed sewing, photography, square dancing and bridge. The family also traveled and camped in a tent and then a travel trailer.

Edith’s beloved husband of 22 years, Phil, was killed in a tragic plane crash on Sept. 20, 1965, along with three other educators. She carried on bravely at the school, learned to drive, and then went to St. Joseph’s College in Bennington where she received her degree in business. She then worked at the Will’s Agency in Bennington and later as a head teller at Cape Cod National Seashore.

In 1972, tired of the cold and snowy Vermont winters, Edith moved to Arizona where she met and married Fred G. Wilson in 1973. They lived in the small retirement town of Meadview where they had many friends with whom they shared many happy hours exploring the great western U.S. Edith also continued her sewing and photography and created beautiful Christmas displays every year with her doll collection. She also fashioned beautiful gardens both in Arizona and Vermont where she visited every year.

In 2002, Edith was suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s and came to Vermont to live with her two daughters in Montpelier. They continued to have fun times eating out, shopping, driving around looking at scenery and visiting with her sons and other family members and friends.

In 2005, she moved into Woodridge Nursing Home where she enjoyed the last several months of her life and was well-loved by all. Her daughters, who couldn’t bear to leave her, were with her most of the time. They were also present when she passed from earth to heaven to be with the lord forever.

Edith leaves her husband Fred of Coal Valley, Iowa; her five children, Philip Walker and wife Gloria of Orlando, Fla., Dick Walker of Hubbardton, Bob Walker and wife Laurie of St. George, and Rita and Joan Walker of Montpelier; a sister, Dolly Weckwerth of Quartzite, Ariz.; two brothers, Regis Regina of Marienville, Pa., and Bob Regina of Tucson, Ariz.; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews and others.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005, at 1 p.m. at Guare & Sons Funeral Home, 30 School St., Montpelier. Burial with a memorial service will be in May in Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington. Flowers are welcome or contributions may be made to Woodridge Activities Fund, P.O. Box 550, Barre, VT 05641.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 19, 2006
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