Surrounded by his family, Claude Roberson Wilson, 82, died Wednesday afternoon, July 3, 2013 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina.
Claude was born January 7, 1931 in Robersonville to Charles Leon Wilson, Sr. and Fannybell Roberson Wilson. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Janice Johnson Wilson, his son Claude Roberson Wilson, Jr. and wife Johanna Lancaster Wilson, his daughter Kathryn Wilson Englert and husband Karl Joseph Englert, III, his grandsons Claude Roberson Wilson, III and wife Heather, Jonathan Gray Wilson and wife Amy, and Andrew Cameron Wilson, his granddaughter Margaret Kathryn Englert, his brother Robert Benjamin Wilson and wife Elva, and many beloved nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Claude was preceded in death by his infant brother Harvey, brother Charles Leon Wilson, Jr., sister Louise Wilson Ely, and infant granddaughter Bonnie Jean Wilson.
A visitation was held on Friday evening, July 5, at Biggs Funeral Home in Robersonville. Funeral services will be held at First Christian Church in Robersonville on Saturday, July 6, at 2:00 pm. Burial will follow at Robersonville Cemetery.
Claude grew up in Robersonville, graduating as Salutatorian from Robersonville High School, topped only by Valedictorian Janice Johnson (his high school sweetheart and future wife). He then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed a degree in business and developed a passion for Tar Heel sports that lasted his entire life. Upon graduation from college, Claude forgave Janice for having taken the Valedictorian spot in high school, and married her. He then completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and from 1952 to 1955 served on active duty in the United States Navy. Claude enjoyed his time in the Navy so much that he remained an active member of the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1955 to 1967, eventually ending his tour of duty with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Claude enjoyed a 38-year career with Wachovia Bank and Trust Company, serving for many years managing the Robersonville Branch, followed by several years in Greenville. He loved his work. He also loved his community, demonstrated by his involvement in Jaycees, Rotary and Ruritan, and his service on the local school board and as a Robersonville Town Commissioner.
Retiring from Wachovia in 1994, Claude began what would be 19 years of an active retirement. He and Janice loved to travel, especially to visit their son and family in Charlotte, N.C. and their daughter and family in Seattle, Wash.
Claude had a deep love for his church. From early childhood until his death, he was a dedicated member of First Christian Church of Robersonville. He taught Sunday School, served as a deacon and elder, sang in the choir for 50 years, and served for 17 years as church treasurer.
Claude Roberson Wilson was a quiet giant who led by example. His honesty, integrity, and humility shaped who he was: a man whose purpose was to do the right thing. He listened and he served, always putting others before himself. He loved deeply and was deeply loved. He will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Christian Church, P.O. Box 755, Robersonville, NC, 27871 or Robersonville Public Library, Robersonville, NC 27871.