Jimmy Lee Wilson
June 16, 1934 – April 24, 2021
Jimmy Lee Wilson, age 86, of Benton, AR, went to his heavenly home on April 24, 2021. He was born June 16, 1934 in Sheridan, AR, and was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Euna Grubbs Wilson, sisters Louise (Benny) Carter of Tull, AR, and Betty Ann (Jerry) Thomason of Benton, AR, brothers Jackie Wayne (Paula) Wilson of Dallas, TX, Danny (Annette) Wilson of Bauxite, AR, and his wife of 30 years lrmtraud Elizabeth Wilson.
He is survived by his wife of 9 years, Devona Meeks Wilson, son Robert (Jodi) Wilson, stepson W.C. Hardaway and stepdaughter Jane Luck (John) Wallace of Camden, AR, grandson Alex Wilson, 2 step grandchildren, 3 step great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He joined the U.S. Army June 29, 1953, and went through basic and advanced combat training at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, where he qualified expert with the Ml Garand Rifle and Ml Carbine. He was also trained on the 3.5" bazooka, .50 caliber and .30 caliber machine guns.
Before the Army years he supported his mom and 4 siblings with various jobs. He picked cotton, worked in a Colorado Copper Mine, worked at Alcoa, milked cows, kept bees and horses, hunted, fished, he continued to support his family at home from the Army.
He told many interesting tails of his 23 years in the service- even of his three tours in Vietnam. During one of those years he was commander of the only Army PBR Unit of 8 boats on the Dong Nai River. Jimmy often performed country music on the stage during the Army years with his guitar, harmonica, and singing. At the NCO Club he mingled with famous guest performers including Charlie Pride and Freddie Hart. He was especially glad to have been one of Bob Hope's armed guards. 12 years were spent in Germany where he met his wife lrmtraud and her young son Robert, whom he later adopted. Robert is a talented drummer who toured as a teenager with Pam Tillis. Grandson Alex is also a talented guitarist. Jimmy was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener plus a lover of classic country music. He was so proud of his immediate family. All were great musicians. Brother Wayne played with the Buck Owens band. His brother Danny wrote music and lyrics and played banjo and every kind of guitar. His music was published and played in Europe. His dad played the mandolin, mom played lead guitar, Louise played rhythm guitar, and Betty Ann played piano.
While in the Army he earned the bronze star but refused a purple heart for shrapnel wounds in his face and neck because he saw body bags nearby of fallen soldiers. His other honors were 9 meritorious service awards, 5 good conduct medals, 4 Army commendation medals, Army occupation medal (Germany), 6 overseas bars, Vietnam campaign medal, Vietnam service medal, National defense service medal and expert marksman in rifle, carbine, and pistol. Four years were spent in the U.S. as Game and Fish Director of the Army Military Park at Newport News, VA. After Army retirement Jimmy served over 20 years as a security officer at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. He was an outdoors man and animal lover.
Jimmy attended Indian Springs Baptist Church where he worked for a time in the Recess Program for handicapped children. He enjoyed a men's life group, plus XYZ activities and trips. He was member of Highland Heights Baptist Church. Another favorite activity was attending the Bryant Senior Activity and Wellness Center at least twice a week for the country band performances on Wednesdays and Bingo on Friday's, In fact, that is where he met, got engaged to, and married his wife Devona. She was given away by her elderly father, Dwight Meeks, who was a faithful member of the center.
Visitation will be Wednesday April 28th from 6 to 8 pm at Pinecrest Funeral Home, 7401 Highway 5 North, Alexander, AR. Funeral services will be Thursday 2 pm at Indian Springs Baptist Church, 23581 I-30, Bryant. Burial will follow with Military Honors in Forest Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Indian Springs Baptist Church, P.O. Box 486, Bryant, AR 72089. Please leave messages for the family at www.pinecrestfh.com
Visitation for Family and Friends
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Jimmy Lee Wilson
Leland and Sue Smith
April 28, 2021
We were so saddened to hear about Jim’s death, he was an outstanding man. We offer prayers for peace and strength during this difficult time for the family and friends. With love, Leland and Sue Smith.