WILSON HEMINGWAY BRENT
MARCH 29, 1936 – JUNE 8, 2010
The Reverend Wilson Hemingway Brent died peacefully on June 8, 2010, at his home in Cary, North Carolina. He was a Methodist minister, a marriage and family counselor, and a college staff member who in his long and distinguished career served congregations, clients, and students in Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
Wilson was born on March 29, 1936, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the youngest of eight children born to Ludye Hemingway Brent and Jesse Emanual Brent. He was raised through his high school years in Redwood, Mississippi, and attended Hinds Junior College and Mississippi College, majoring in mathematics. Soon after he graduated from college he heard the call to ministry and enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he earned a M.Div. degree. His ordination as an elder in the Methodist Church followed within three years.
Wilson married Charlotte Treadway of Jackson, Mississippi with whom he had one child, Claudia Rebecca. Charlotte also became an ordained Methodist minister and served her own churches in Louisiana, and she also co-presented workshops with Wilson on marriage enrichment and on death and grief. Their marriage lasted for 45 years until her death parted them in 2000.
Besides his pastoral and counseling positions, Wilson served for nine years on the staff of the School of Church Careers at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, providing program leadership and counseling services. His students from that period remembered him fondly for years after they graduated and continued to be a source of joy to him for the rest of his life.
Wilson’s Christian faith and adherence to his principles were strong and unshakeable, and at the same time he was unfailingly kind, gentle, funny, and infinitely generous of spirit. He wrote poetry throughout his adult life, and in 2003 published a volume of his poetry entitled Life Well Lived, a phrase that characterizes his own life perfectly. Serving others in death as he did in life, he donated his body to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Wilson is survived by his wife of eight years, Gerry, her three daughters and son and their spouses: Laura and Hamilton LaForge, Sue and James Brewer, Shelly Weiss, and Todd and Dawn Weiss; his daughter Rebecca Brent and her husband Richard Felder; his eight grandchildren Wade, Nicole, Jessica, Alex, Todd Jr., Kenneth, Elena, and Gary; his seven great-grandchildren Mary, Benjamin, Jacob, Shannon, Jonathan, James, and Cecelia.
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