VALDESE - Dr. James D. Wilson, 78, of Valdese, NC, died Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC after a brief illness. He was born July 11, 1935 in Athens, Tennessee. He was the eldest of the six children of his late parents Hugh David, Jr. and Thelma Townsend Wilson. Dr. Wilson was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Libby Wilson, who died May 16, 2010. He is survived by his two sons and two daughters-in-law, Jim and Alicia Wilson of Morganton, NC and Mike and Denise Wilson, of Valdese, NC; grandchildren, Jarrett Wilson of Asheville,NC, John Wilson of Taylorsville, NC, Jada Jarillo of Apex, NC, Prairie Reep of Chapel Hill, NC, Loren and Marisa Scott of Morganton, NC, and Cheyenne Lingerfelt of Gastonia, NC; great- grandchildren Rachael and Alanna Byers of Shelby, NC and Harmony Lingerfelt of Gastonia, NC; brothers and sisters Jean Wilson of Athens, TN, Donna Norton of Lakeland, Fl., John Wilson of Lenoir City, TN., and Libby Skorupan of Athens, TN; and several nieces and nephews. He was also preceded in death by his younger sister Rose Hammond. He also leaves behind his constant companion and beloved Shih Tzu, Millie who kept him fit by taking him on long walks most everyday. Dr. Wilson was a graduate of Carson-Newman College where he received his bachelor's in Philosophy. He completed his master's and doctorate in Education Administration at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For most of his career in education, Dr. Wilson was either teaching and training school administrators or being one himself. He taught education administration at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC from 1969 until he became superintendant of the Jackson County (NC) Public Schools in 1975. In 1980, he left Jackson County for the superintendant's position in Burke County, NC where he was employed through 1988. In 1988, Dr. Wilson became head of one of eight Regional Education Centers in North Carolina when he took the director's position in Jacksonville, NC. He finished his career in public education in 1993 after serving as the school superintendant in the Lenoir County (NC) Public Schools where he oversaw the merger of the City of Kinston and Lenoir County school systems. Dr. Wilson was active in his church and the community. At the time of his death, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Valdese where he taught Sunday school and served for many years as a deacon. He was a member of the Valdese Rotary Club
where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He also served for a numbers of years as a trustee at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, NC. He also enjoyed many leisure activities during his retirement including running, traveling, gardening, bicycling, and riding one of his two motorcycles. Most of all he enjoyed spending with his family and his many friends. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday June 17, 2014 at First Baptist Church in Valdese, officiating the Rev. Dr. Barry Keys and Rev. Tim Horldt. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Valdese. The family will receive friends Monday from 5:00-7:00 P.M. at Heritage Funeral Service in Valdese, where the body will remain until placed in the church 30 minutes prior to the funeral hour. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Challenge to Build c/o First Baptist Church, 500 Faet Street Valdese, N.C. 28690. An online guestbook and obituary is available at www.heritagefuneralservices.com.
Heritage Funeral Service & Crematory of Valdese is serving the family. Sign the guestbook at Kinston.com.