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Wilson Eison

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Eison, "Coach" Wilson (Jake) Age 78, formerly of Gary, passed away Monday, January 26, 2015, at The Community Heart and Vascular Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. He was a celebrated athlete, teacher, coach and mentor and was known throughout the region and state for his accomplishments. His climb up the ladder began in the Gary Public School System. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1955 and was selected as Indiana All Stars' "Mr. Basketball" (the first in Northwest Indiana). Jake was chosen "Most Valuable Player" at Purdue University and was 9th among Big 10 scorers in 1958. He holds record breaking and record setting basketball scores in semi and state play. Jake was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and honored as a "pro" for his accomplishments by being drafted high by the famed Minneapolis Lakers in the 1959 NBA draft. His pro tenure was shortened when he was drafted by the U. S. Army. After being drafted, he was voted "Most Valuable Player" in the 5th Army Basketball Tournament at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. His name still rings throughout Indiana for his achievements. He was still on the rise when U.S. Tube Works, Corp. became his vocational employer. He was hailed by them for fresh ideas with great economic impact during his tenure in Management. He was selected to the Board of Directors for Gary Tube Works Credit Union. His contributions to the educational field in the Gary Community School Corporation as a teacher for 27 years have been numerous and the City of Gary has honored him many times for "Excellence in Athletics." He retired from the Gary Community School Corporation. He was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Gary (Miller) where he served faithfully for 32 years as Treasurer. He was preceded in death by his mother, Jewell Welford Eison Jones; father, Wilson Eison, Sr.; and stepfather, Granville Jones. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Ludia; devoted daughters, Dr. Kimberly (Dr. David) Simmons of Columbia, S.C, Kamika (Bobby) Wheatley of Fishers, IN and Donna (Arnold) Thompson of Ft. Worth, TX; grandchildren, Sean, Christopher, and Brandon Wheatley, Asha, Aria and Aidan Simmons, Ashley, Haley and Isaiah Thompson. Other survivors include his devoted sister, Jeanette Eison Davis of Gary, IN; brother-in-law, Boyce Rowe; nieces, nephews, aunts, an uncle and a host of other special relatives, neighbors and friends. Visitation will be held Friday, January 30, at Guy & Allen Chapel, 2959 W. 11th Avenue, Gary, from 12:00 noon 8:00 p.m. Family hour will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, January 31, 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, 411 N. Montgomery St. in Gary (Miller) with Pastor Chris Armiger officiating. Visitation hours at Bethel are 10:00-11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Bethel Lutheran Church Memorial Fund in honor of Wilson "Jake" Eison. Professional services rendered by Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, Inc.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 30, 2015
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