Ralph V. Wilson Jr.

11 December , 192319 July , 2019

Ralph Virgil Wilson, Jr., 95, passed away at his home in Chattanooga, TN and entered the presence of his Lord on Friday, July 19, 2019. He was born December 11, 1923 to Ralph V. Wilson, Sr. and Stella Rumley Wilson of Kernersville, NC where he grew up. He had spent the past 25 years living in Chattanooga, TN near his daughter and family.

R. V. loved the Lord and served Him faithfully in church through the years, and most recently as a deacon at Morris Hill Baptist Church in Chattanooga. He was a wise, honorable man of outstanding character. He touched many people with kindness and humor. He loved and cherished his wife and was a dedicated, loving Dad. R. V. always took responsibilities seriously and was diligent in all he did. He was instrumental in starting the Jaycees in Kernersville, NC and served as their first president. He liked to read and educated himself in many avenues. He enjoyed being involved with horses along with his daughter for several years, he was a beekeeper with his young grandson, he enjoyed deer hunting with family and friends, and he enjoyed many years of camping at the coast and in the mountains.

R. V. served in the Army-Air Force as an airplane mechanic in Walla Walla, WA during WWII. When he returned to Kernersville he worked for a while at the Kernersville News. After that he worked as supervisor in the composing room at the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel newspaper from which he retired after 35 years.

R. V. was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Alice Faye (Myron) Sexton of Lewisville, NC. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jane Pegg Wilson in 2015. They had been sweethearts since third grade and literally spent a lifetime together. He was also preceded in death by his infant son, R. V. Wilson III, and infant daughter, Alice Ann Wilson.

R. V. is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Gwen and Jerry (“Punk”) Echols of Chattanooga. The Lord blessed R. V. (Papaw) through the years with five grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren who survive him: Kelly Echols, Slater, Ember of White Salmon, WA, Paige (Jim) Batten, Chase, Chad, Somer, Sydney of Apison, TN, Joy (Chris) Petty, Emily, Anna, Caleb of Bolivia, South America, Amy (Justin) Park, Mikayla, Camden, Lane of Chattanooga, TN, Mark (Nicole) Echols, Logan, Christian of Chattanooga, TN. Also, R. V. is survived by his nephew Neal Wilson Sexton of Winston-Salem, NC.

R. V. was a humble man who brought much joy to many lives. He will always be loved, and respected, by his family and friends. And, he will be greatly missed!!

Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 25, at E. Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Mason officiating. Visitation will be from 3:30 – 6:00 PM with the service starting at 6:00 PM.

Burial will be at Chattanooga National Cemetery at 10:30 AM on Friday, July 26, 2019.


  • Visitation Thursday, 25 July , 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, 25 July , 2019
  • Burial Friday, 26 July , 2019


Ralph V. Wilson Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Holly Maguire

25 July 2019

Dear Gwen, Punk, and Family!! RV and Jane were like grandparents and friends to me. To this day, one of my happiest feelings is experiencing the loud thud of a wooden screened porch door hitting the door frame as it closes. My mind's eye goes to that porch door that opened into their kitchen with all the love and welcome inside that awaited you. It was always opening and closing with people coming and going. And Jane, always at the ready with some freshly canned pickles, tomatoes, or a freshly cut canteloupe to serve you or a freshly baked pie. Jane taught us all what it means to truly love your neighbors as yourself and her genuine compassion was legendary. I can still see her so clearly out on her side porch room talking with her plants, beseeching each of them to bloom and grow.

I spent the most time with them during my teen years when we went to Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem together. RV had recently purchased a sleek and beautiful new silver sports car with red leather interior. He would take me out for a spin in it after church and sometimes I'd ride with them to eat at Sam's Gourmet restaurant at Thruway Shopping Center. I also interviewed them in high school for an oral history project and they were adorable talking and laughing about their 3rd grade exploits of falling madly for one another. I think Jane hit him over the head with a baseball bat if I'm remembering correctly.

RV was so proud of his time at the newspaper and that carried into the next two generations of the family too. He always had great stories to share. They live on in my heart and I'm so grateful for their lives. They each truly made the world a better place by the sheer force of who they were and how they loved each other and everyone that crossed their path. I still drive by their adorable Kernersville house and hear that porch screen door banging this many years later. Love and my condolences to all of you!!

Arch and Debbie Embler

25 July 2019

We regret losing contact with RV and Jane when they left Kernersville for Chattanooga. We were friends with Gwen and Jerry when we lived in Chattanooga, and they urged us to look up RV and Jane when we moved to Kernersville in 1984. We are so glad we did. They are largely responsible for us being in the church where we are, and we have many memories of them. They invited us to their home and we had them in ours also, for a memorable evening. Once RV invited us to his favorite ice cream place after church, a place called Char's. I worked at the local CBS affiliate, and RV was always coming up to me with pronunciation corrections to pass on to the news anchors. We had some hilarious conversations. RV loved the Lord, and it was obvious that he spent time in God's Word. He and Jane were both genuine people, and shone like lights in the world. We look forward to seeing them when we also are with the Lord. We are grateful for the obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal, otherwise we would never know what happened to them. We welcome contact from Gwen and Jerry, should they want to touch base. Our hearts are with you in your loss.

Rosemary & Gary Hart

24 July 2019

Gary and I have such special memories of RV. He always “walked to the beat of his own drum,” was a wise and insightful man, and had the courage to speak the truth as he saw it whether it was a popular opinion or not. On those occasions when Miss Jane thought he was going a bit too far in expressing his opinions, only she could reign him in— and it was a delight to watch her in action in her sweet and loving way— and RV would always give in to Miss Jane. Their house was like Grand Central Station- people in and out all the time. Jane always had something to eat for anyone who stopped by. When you needed someone to listen, Jane was always there with her sweet ways and RV with the blunt truth—I needed both. Theirs was a truly loving home. They were like second parents to me. My life would never have been as good without them in it and Gary has often told me many good times he had with them as neighbors.The Bible says we are to “be a light unto the world,” and they were. Well done, RV, you lived a great life!