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William Lockett (“Billy”) Wilson, 93

RICE, Nov. 29 -William Lockett (“Billy”) Wilson, 93, graduated to life's higher dimension on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. He was born at Rice, on July 10, 1918, the second child of Jasper Dennis and Helen Vaughan Wilson. He grew up on the family farm and attended Rice High School, graduating in 1935. Following high school, he worked in the tobacco industry until 1941.

In August 1941, Mr. Wilson married Mary Stackhouse (deceased) of Mullins, South Carolina, and shortly thereafter entered military service, serving in the US Army Air Force in the European Theater of Operations for the duration of the War. In 1947, at the age of 29, he enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College to begin preparing for the ministry. He completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in two years, graduating summa cum laude in 1949. Following Hampden-Sydney, he entered Union Theological Seminary in Richmond and, while still a student, organized Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church in Richmond's West End and served as the first pastor of the new church. In 1964, Reverend Wilson moved to Norfolk to become pastor of Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1983.

During his ministry, Wilson served as moderator of Hanover and Norfolk Presbyteries (four terms) and moderator of the then-Synod of the Virginias' (1983-84) during the re-union with the Presbyterian Church, USA. He chaired the Council of Hanover and Norfolk Presbyteries and also the Synod of the Virginias'. He was a commissioner to the General Assembly (four terms), served on the Council of Virginia Churches for Alcohol and Narcotic Education and was president for one term. Reverend Wilson served on the Salvation Army Council for 19 years. In 1962, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Hampden-Sydney College. He retired to his home near Rice in 1983. In retirement, he served various churches in the Synod of Virginia.

Reverend Wilson is survived by three children, Mary Breeden, Robert L. Wilson and wife Joan, and Helen V. Tripp and husband “Mitch” and six grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Robert Breeden, Rodney Morris, Ashley Druen, and Leslie, Laura and Ryan Tripp; and three younger brothers, Samuel V., John D. and James B. Wilson. His older sister, Virginia W. Druen, was deceased in 2001.

A memorial service followed by a light luncheon reception will be held at Jamestown Presbyterian Church on Saturday, December 3, at 11 a.m.

Contributions may be sent to Jamestown Church, Rice, VA.