After a courageous battle with cancer, Emma Jean Wilson passed away Thursday, May 2, 2013 peacefully at home. She was 57 years old. Born November 8, 1955 in Robersonville, Emma Jean was the daughter of Ella Louise Matthews Vanderford and the late Roy Lee Vanderford.
Emma Jean is survived by her husband, Charles Leon Wilson III of the home as well as their sons, Charles L. Wilson IV and his wife Anna Marshall of Raleigh, Louis V. Wilson of Washington, and Robert B. Wilson of Raleigh. Other family includes her mother, Ella Louise Vanderford of Robersonville and sisters Kathy V. Roberson and her husband James of Burlington, Addie Lou V. Leggett and her husband Robbie of Robersonville, Fran V. Wilson and her husband Matt of Raleigh and sister-in-law Dee W. Loop and her husband David of Jacksonville, Fl.
After graduating high school in Robersonville, Emma Jean entered East Carolina University, earning her BSN in 1978. In 1979, she married her high school sweetheart, and they moved to Wilson in 1982 where they have raised their family. A committed Christian and active member of First United Methodist Church, Emma Jean was an avid supporter of the Volunteers in Missions Team. She spent many years serving the community with interests in the Boy Scouts of America Troop 6, Wilson Medical Center Auxiliary on their Board of Directors and The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship Soccer Showcase as well as many other causes behind the scenes.
Emma Jean truly did not know a stranger. She had a gift for making others feel included and special. Her circle of friends was huge, and she was often the first arrive with gifts or food after a loss or celebration. Any excuse to gather friends and family for food and fellowship was embraced with great enthusiasm, and it was her presence that provided the catalyst for many a spontaneous party.
Her greatest love in life was her family. Treasured relationships with her parents, and Leon’s, her sisters, Leon’s brother and sister, and their families made her life tapestry very special. Active in all phases of her children’s lives, she took great pride in having three Eagle Scouts. She cherished trips and vacations with Leon and the boys and time spent “on the pond” at Atlantic Beach. Known for her wry humor and frank, pragmatic approach to almost everything, Emma Jean approached each day with purpose and every relationship as an opportunity to share. She absolutely loved to laugh.
Funeral services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church, 100 W. Green Street, Wilson. The Rev. Bob Bergland and the Rev. Bill Presnell will officiate.
The family will receive friends on Saturday from 6-8 p.m. at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Road Parkway and other times at the home. In lieu of flowers, memorial may be directed to First United Methodist church, 100 W. Green Street, Wilson, N.C. 27893 or Boy Scouts of East Carolina Council, PO Box 1698, Kinston, N.C. 27803.
Condolences may be directed to www.joyners.net.