Hawkinsville lost a fine guy this week. I served with Wilson for several years on the Hawkinsville City Commission. A lot of our progress can be attributed to him. He was an extremely intelligent man that cared about this community. We often differed on the “approach” to a challenge, but we seldom differed on the end goal. Wilson’s approach was full steam ahead, don’t worry about the collateral damage. Sometimes – that was what was needed. That approached was not liked by some and it probably cost him the last election, but at times, it was the approach that got the most accomplished.
Hawkinsville has made great strides in the blighted housing category, and much of that success was due to Wilson. He spearheaded the Opportunity Zone. He would take the time to analyze an issue and would often find a stone that we had not overturned.
Wilson was also the best storyteller. His trip to back from Atlanta in a wrecker is one of the funniest stories I have ever heard. And he could tell a joke as good as any standup I have ever seen.
I watched Wilson put his family first. He was willing to make some tough decisions out of love. He didn’t just take the easy route. His love for his children, his grandchildren and Jane was ever visible and present. He admired and complimented Jane at every mention.
Wilson is the reason that we have the PCCLC (Pulaski County Christian Learning Center). He saw the success of that program in another community and challenged Pulaski County to make it happen here. This may prove to be his best legacy in our town. It is already making a difference in people’s lives.
I will miss Wilson. He was a friend. He challenged me not to accept the status quo. I enjoyed discussing ideas and goals with him. I enjoyed our disagreements, because he never took them personally with me. Yeah, he made me mad sometimes, yeah, we disagreed sometimes – but that what friends do. Iron sharpens iron.
Hawkinsville is a better community because of Wilson. How many of us will be able to say that when our time comes?