|NEW BERN – Thomas William Wilson, 67, of 5219 Trent Woods Dr., New Bern left this world behind on his favorite day- Halloween. While family and friends are mourning his passing, we also rejoice in his new-found freedom, far from the pain and constraints of metastatic Prostate Cancer.
Thom was the middle child of five, born September 18, 1950 to George & Blanche Wilson in Oceanside, NY.He led a wonderful life. The following is a heartfelt summation of all that made him special.
Thom was an outdoorsman. He learned to love being outdoors thanks to all the annual family camping trips enjoyed as a youngster. Boating and clamming near Baldwin, NY were regular activities enjoyed on their boat The Tomcat and the dinghy, Kitten. He developed a love of kayaking after coming back to New Bern, and was tapped to become the President of the Twin Rivers Paddle Club for 2 years running. Several years ago, he engaged in a group paddle down the entire Neuse River. His last great primitive camping experience happened on an island in the middle of Lake Saranac, NY. Four weeks of primitive camping with no water and an outhouse- bliss!
Thom was a sportsman. If an activity involved a ball, Thom was doing it. He loved the camaraderie and competition of sport. He particularly loved baseball and soccer. To no avail, he would later strive to educate his wife about the beauty of baseball stats. Of course, he was a Yankee’s fan. He also wrestled in his youth and took a weird pleasure in doggedly eating his celery stick (to make weight) while his siblings and parents enjoyed Mom’s good cooking. While living in New Bern he took up racquetball and loved to compete in tournaments whenever he could.
Thom was an avid reader. Thanks to a Grandmother who sparked his interest in books as a small child, Thom would later lovingly pour over pages that would put others to sleep. Philosophy, theology, history and literature… these were all topics that fired up his mind. He could often be found with 3-5 open books spread around him while he pursued a topic. And his knowledge was never shallow or one-sided. He would always read multiple authors on the same topic to better flesh out the information he was assimilating.
Thom was a hard worker. He never shied away from work at any time in his life. He became an accomplished house painter; a construction worker; a construction supervisor and finally become a licensed General Contractor. He was a hands-on leader, who always garnered the respect of everyone who ever worked with him or for him. His work was always first rate.
Thom was a man of his word. Period.
Thom was a drummer. He had recently discovered the Oriental Drum Circle and thought nothing of trekking to “DC” every Thursday to sit with his Djembe and try to learn a new rhythm.
Thom loved two women in his life. Diane Coller and Leann Johnson. Their respective unions produced two wonderful children: His beloved son, Brian Thomas Wilson and his delightfully intelligent and beautiful daughter, Emily Cole Wilson.
Thom was a believer. His path to faith was unconventional but well-studied and deep. In recent years he could be found reading works by Keating, Rohr, Needleman and Bourgeault, among others. He was a budding contemplative. And he also was a graduate and mentor of the Education for Ministry program at Christ Episcopal Church. He was well-aware of his mistakes and sins and thankful for the promised grace of a loving redeemer.
Thom Wilson, while very much alive elsewhere, is survived by: the former Leann Johnson and daughter, Emily Cole Wilson both of New Bern; son, Brian Thomas Wilson and his wife, Bernadette Williams Wilson of The Bronx, NY; and Brian’s mother, Diane Coller of Belfast, ME.
Thom’s surviving siblings are: Carol Wilson Cameron of Florida; George James Wilson of Vermont; Kathy Wilson Carroll & Wendy Wilson of North Carolina. His extended family of nieces and nephews is too large to acknowledge here.
Published in Sun Journal from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2017