|Annie Newell (Ann) was born October 29, 1921 in Columbia County, Arkansas, the fifth of nine children born to the late Albert and Iva Kirkpatrick. Her early years were spent in the public schools of Columbia County.
Born and raised in the Methodist Church, and professing her Christian faith at the age of eleven, the church was always the central part of her life. How fitting that in 1942 she would marry a Methodist minister, Rev. Lee Gray Wilson. She worked tirelessly at his side and ministered to the needs of their congregations in whatever capacity she was needed. They served pastorates in the Arkansas Conference, including Carthage Circuit, Columbia Circuit, Lockesburg, Keith Memorial-Malvern and Grady-Gould until 1952 when they transferred to the Louisiana Conference. Wisner, Jonesville, Mer Rouge, Lakeview-Minden, Coushatta, Vinton, Logansport and St. Marks-Monroe pastorates all flourished and prospered under their leadership until 1977 when they retired from full time service and settled in Shreveport.
She was active in the Wesleyan Service Guild and United Methodist Women and served as an officer for the Shreveport District United Methodist Women for many years.
Mrs. Wilson was a devoted wife and mother, always striving to not only profess her Christianity, but to live it. She was an inspiration and a continuing tower of strength to her husband and two daughters during her lifetime and even more so as she began her final journey to meet the Lord.
When her illness was diagnosed, she never complained or asked “why me?,” at least, not aloud. She was an incredible example of “enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” There were times her physical pain was visibly intense and the nurses and caregivers at Grace Home would ask, “Mrs. Wilson, can we get you something?” and she would always smile, shake her head and say, “no, I’m fine.” It was more important to her that she remain clear in thinking and speech so that she could be with her family and loved ones. She had a wonderfully droll and dry sense of humor and many precious, irreplaceable hours were spent talking, laughing and sharing anecdotes and re-living past experiences.
She died in Grace Home in Shreveport, Louisiana on July 13, 1997 and a memorial service was held on July 16, 1997 at her home church of Christie’s Chapel, Arkansas. She is survived by her devoted husband of 54 years, Rev. Lee Gray Wilson; daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Kerry Falgout; daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Elvin Adair of Athens, Texas; grandchildren, Lisa Greening, Kimberly Wilkerson, Aimee and Angela Neal, Eric and Jared Adair, Donette Chaisson, Chad Falgout; great-grandchildren, Rowan Greening, Lance Aric Wilkerson, II; Mark, Matt and Kara Chaisson; sisters, Inez Evers, Rev. Linda Shepherd, LouElla Emerson and Edna Broughton; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Just a few hours before she died, her husband asked her “Are you ready to go see Jesus?” and she replied, “whenever He is.” A great soldier…HOME AT LAST.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1998; p. 262 By Jane Falgout|