Lawson Atwood Wilder, Sr.
Homer - Psalm 119:89, "Your word, O Lord, will last forever."
Lawson Atwood Wilder, Sr., son of Mr. and Mrs. John Atwood Wilder, Sr. reposed in the Lord on January 2, 2021, at the age of 93. He was the fifth generation of Wilders in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
A graduate of Homer High School, Mr. Wilder enlisted at the age of 17 in the United States Navy and is a veteran of World War II. After the service, he attended college on the G.I. Bill at LSU and studied Geology. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. There he met Gillis Long, who was not only his roommate but a lifelong friend. He later assisted with Long's failed gubernatorial bid. But even in this, Lawson found success when bringing support ultimately to Edwin Edwards from North Louisiana. Edwards won his first election, and the rest is, as they say, history. In gratitude for Mr. Wilder's work and support of his campaign, the new governor made one of his first projects of his administration the improvement and total reconstruction of highway 79 between Homer and Minden. He, also, attended the General Motors Business School winning an award for the design of a GM dealership which was built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Following college, Mr. Wilder married his life-long love, Anna Laura. Ever the great conversationalists, their varied and mutual interests in theology, history, geology, politics, education, and civic duty help bond them together, crowning sixty-seven years of marriage in 2016. They raised three children, Laura Ann, Jill, and Lawson, Jr. in Homer, which was especially important to them both.
He led an immensely successful career with Ludlow Plastics of Holyoke, Massachusetts, as lead national salesman, achieving the distinction of Lead National Salesman of the Year in 1979. Later, he became the Landman for Dome Petroleum of Canada. In 1980, in partnership with his wife and son, Mr. Wilder founded Industrial Packaging Corporation, based in Homer, which is currently owned by his son, Lawson Atwood Wilder, Jr. Throughout his life, he held various volunteer positions including the Board of Directors of Homer Memorial Hospital, board of directors of Presbyterian Village, a founder of Homer Country Club, and a Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church where he was a lifelong member.
The interment minister is Rev. Jason Leonard of First Presbyterian Church, Homer. There will be a family graveside service at Arlington Cemetery in Homer on January 16 under the direction of Rose Neath Funeral Home. If friends would like to make a memorial gift in remembrance of Mr. Lawson A. Wilder, Sr., please consider the First Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Village, or Claiborne Memorial Medical Center.
The family extends gratitude to Dr. Sam Abshire, Dr. Mark Haynes, Dr. Scott Haynes, the ICU Nurses, and all the other caregivers at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center. In addition, the family would like to thank special companions Robert Harris, Mary Gilbert, Sherry Harper, and Linda Lewis who were faithful and devoted caregivers to Mr. Wilder.
Surviving him are his children Mrs. Laura Ann Wilder of Homer; Mrs. Jill and Dr. John Busch of Fort Worth, TX; Mr. Lawson, Jr. and Mrs. Tracie Wilder of Homer; and his eight grandchildren: Mrs. Lauren and Rev. Fr. Joseph Birthisel of Midlothian, VA; Mrs. Anna and Mr. Josselin Kalifa of Paris, France; Mrs. Jennifer and Mr. Michael Mimms of Fort Worth, TX; Mr. Lawson, III and Dr. Rebecca Wilder; Mr. John Wilder, III; Miss Bonnie Wilder; Ms. Robin Wilder, and Mr. Adam and Alora Wilder; his fifteen great-grandchildren: Noah, Mary Madeleine, Daniel, Anna, Eilís, Basil, Irena, David, Frederick, Jack, Stella, Michael, Valentine, Jackson, and Lillian; brother-in-law, Frank Harkness; and his niece, Bennie Baker Bourgeois.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Anna Laura Wilder, his parents John and Lena Wilder, baby brother John Atwood Wilder, Jr., sister Jane, her husband Maurice Miller, and her second husband Jim Dabney, first cousins John Miller, his wife Shirley, and Bill Baker