Edward Woodrow "Hack" Wilson, departed this world at his home on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at the age of 96. "Hack" was born on October 12, 1915 in Wilson County, Arkansas to Corbett Revere and Lucy Wilson. He was the second son in a family of seven children. He spent his childhood in Harco, Illinois. On October 12, 1935, Woodrow married Lola Mae Johnson of Harrisburg, IL. Through their 64 year marriage, they were blessed with five children, John, Dolores, Peggy, Thomas, and James. Their family expanded to include 14 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren.
As a young man, "Hack" entered the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and learned how to handle explosives in the Pacific Northwest. When his service in the CCC ended, "Hack" returned to Harrisburg and coal mining. Always ambitious and a self-starter, he qualified for his mine examiner papers. His mining career ended when he and his brother, C.R. were caught in a cave in. With courage and determination, "Hack" spent the next year recovering from a spinal injury and completed a correspondence course to be an electrician. With his health returning, he moved his family to Northwest Indiana for a new start.
Over the next twenty three years, he was employed as a welder repairman at the Bud Company in Gary, IN, General Motors Stamping Plant in Willow Springs, IL and at the Ford Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, IL. Always an active union member, Woodrow eventually was elected to two terms as the president of United Auto Workers Union Local 588. During this time, he negotiated important contracts, established union by-laws, and completed the construction of Local 588 Union hall. He retired for medical reasons from Ford in 1972.
"Hack" had a lifelong passion for baseball. As a young man, he played on many amateur leagues and with a semi-pro Cardinals farm team as a catcher. A proud moment in his life was the opportunity to try out with the Cardinals in St. Louis. He shared his love of the game with his sons through coaching of many Little League teams in Hobart, IN. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. While living on Lake George in Hobart, he shared his love of fishing with his grandchildren. In his later years, he spent many happy days with his sons, grandsons, nephews, and friends at his fishing camp on Bay Creek, along the back waters of the Ohio River. Woodrow first joined the Hobart Masonic Lodge and became a Master Mason. He was a member of the Golconda Masonic Lodge #135.
In 1998, Woodrow's wife, Lola preceded him in death. He returned at that time to his much loved Southern Illinois. He has been preceded in death by his daughter, Dolores; his grandson, Howard McBrayer (Hobart, IN), daughter-in-law, Alice Wilson (Houston, TX) his parents, and his brothers and sisters, Corbett Revere (C.R.) Wilson, Charles (Doney) Wilson, Hazel Wilson, Henrietta Winters, and Helen Wilson.
He is survived by his children John (Patsy) Wilson, (Hutto, Tx), Peggy (John) McBrayer (Hobart, IN), Thomas (Ellen) Wilson, (Emmaus, PA), James (Jan) Wilson, (McMinville, TN), grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. He was blessed with an extended family of numerous nieces and nephews, and his dear sister-in-law, Wilma Kennedy (Carrier Mills, IL). The family would like to offer a special thank you to Karen Lutwinski for her love and assistance in these years. A special blessing in the last years of Woodrow's life was the affection and companionship of JoAnn Lanham, (Harrisburg, IL).
A memorial service will be arranged at a later date. For more information contact James Wilson at (931) 808-4216 or John Wilson at (512) 636-5456.