Floral 03

Mary P. Wilson

June 5, 1933 ~ May 26, 2022 (age 88)


SHREVEPORT, LA- On Thursday, May 26, 2022, Mary Wilson went to be with her Heavenly Father. Her family will receive visitors from 5pm-7pm on Tuesday, May 31 at Osborn Funeral Home (3631 Southern Avenue). A funeral service celebrating Mary’s life will be held at 11am on Wednesday, June 1 in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Shreveport (543 Ockley Drive) with Dr. Jeff Raines officiating, Rev. Ronney Joe Webb assisting, and Dr. Glen Adkins leading the music. A graveside service for the family will follow at Forest Park East Cemetery.

Mary was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 5, 1933, to Dr. Andrew Thomas Pilgreen and Lula Corinne Walpole Pilgreen. The family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, when Andy was called to serve as the pastor of Parkview Baptist Church. They joined this fellowship on September 6, 1936, and Andy was its pastor until 1963.

Mary graduated from Byrd High School in 1951 and enrolled in Louisiana College in Pineville that fall. While in college, she was first a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, then the First Baptist Church of Pineville. On August 4, 1954, Mary graduated from Louisiana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Speech. (Her father supplemented his income by growing trees on his homeplace in Lincoln Parish and selling them, and she always said that her father’s trees helped pay her way through college.) She finished college in a little more than three years. She spent the next two school years (1954-56) teaching 8th-12th grade English classes at Greenwood High School, west of Shreveport.

On Good Friday, March 30, 1956, Mary married fellow Parkview member Dr. Robert Rudolph Wilson, Jr., son of Dr. Robert Rudolph Wilson, Sr., and Ura Blanche Buchanan Wilson. Mary’s father performed the ceremony at Parkview.

In the Fall of 1956, Mary began teaching 8th grade classes in language arts and social studies at Linwood Junior High School. In January 1958, when she found out that she was expecting their first child, she retired from her teaching career. Her retirement gave her more time to take care of their three children and made it possible for her to essentially have a full-time career in Christian ministries, through programs of her church and the Southern Baptist Convention, and on her own. She devoted her life to her family, her church, and her God.

The Wilson family joined the First Baptist Church of Shreveport on September 1, 1975. Robert and Mary were longtime supporters of Parkview Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Shreveport, First Baptist Church School, Louisiana College, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. They served in both of their churches as Sunday School teachers and directors, and as members of various committees. Robert also served as a deacon, and Mary sang in the choir and contributed to the WMU and other missions efforts. They served as volunteer part-time missionaries in Baptist hospitals in Indonesia and India on three occasions in 1986 and 1987. On these mission trips Mary counseled and taught English to some of the nursing students, led Bible studies, and spoke to ladies from local churches about Christian missions. During a power outage in India, she held a flashlight so Robert could perform surgery.

Mary grew and arranged roses and gave them to people on special occasions. She enjoyed hosting various functions and was a good cook. She was an active alumnus of Louisiana College, and often traveled to alumni functions with former classmates Jackie Coffman Tucker and Juanita Kilmer Blackwell.

Mary loved her family and gave her time to them. She was patient and tolerant; she had to be because Robert loved dogs and let them sleep in bed with them. She served as a faithful caregiver for her mother and Robert in their last years of this life. She loved being “Meme” for her three grandchildren. Her greatest joy came from embracing her roles in making God’s Kingdom a reality on earth as it is in Heaven, which included caring for her family and others. After her good friend Bobbie Texada went to Heaven, Mary wrote: “A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love, and encourages you with hope.” Many people would say the same of Mary.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, sister Ruth Madeleine Pilgreen-Treadgold, brother James Truett Pilgreen, and special friends Ossie Thomas, Bobbie Texada, and Charles Gleason. She is survived by her three children, Dr. Janice Elaine Wilson Hollier (Rodney Wallace) of Shreveport, Nolan Andrew Wilson of Shreveport, and Martin Wendell Wilson (Lesley) of The Woodlands, Texas; grandchildren Andrew Robert Hollier, Reid Thomas Wilson, and Abby Elizabeth Wilson; sister Nelda Lou Pilgreen; and many other beloved relatives.

Serving Mary as her pallbearers will be Rod Wallace; Marc Weddleton; nephews Galen Treadgold, Truett Miley, Steve Miley, and Alan Miley; and grandsons Andrew Hollier and Reid Wilson.

The family wishes to thank Mary’s doctors, especially Eric Smith, Seborn Woods, and Don Texada; The Glen Retirement System; Lifepath Hospice; and special friends Mary Ann Elkins, Martha Holemon, Joanne Sigler, Betty Waggoner, Jackie Tucker, Sharon and Allison Waddell, Cathy Leisk, and Martha Anderson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Robert and Mary Wilson Missions Fund through the First Baptist Church of Shreveport, or to the memorial of the donor's choice.

The family may be contacted at the following e-mail address: romarwil@bellsouth.net

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