August 11, 1928 - November 3, 2019
James Robert “Wil” Wilson, 91, was born August 11, 1928 on the family farm in Selmer, Tennessee. He was in the last generation to be born on the farm instead of a hospital. Growing up during the depression, his family moved around wherever a job could be found. At one point, J.R. attended six schools in five years. There were times that all they had to eat was grass soup. If his dad could not find a job, they would move back to the family farm where he attended school in a one room school house that did not even have an outhouse. Dropping out of school at 16, he married Dorothy Storey. They were married for over 50 years. He went to work for the City of Memphis reading meters until he was called up by the Air Force during the Korean War. After that military action, J.R. stayed in the Air Force, where he advanced to Chief Master Sergeant and served for 24 years. After retiring from the Air Force, he went to work as a civilian at the Air Force’s MAC Headquarters in Illinois until retiring at 65. In retirement, J.R.’s hobby was fixing things around his house or the home of a friend, family member or neighbor. He stayed active, always having “a project” until he had a stroke on January 23,2019. He died November 3, 2019. Shackleford Funeral Home will conduct a military funeral in Selmer, Tennessee on Saturday, November 9, 2019. J.R. was preceded in death by his younger brother Pat of Colorado, and sister Betty of California. He is survived by three children - Jamie Shipp of Brownfield, Dr. James K. Wilson of Georgetown, Texas and Janice Bennett of Victorville, California, and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.