Dedrick Francis Wilson Jr. died April 6, 2007, following a protracted illness. Born in Morristown, Tenn. Sept. 16, 1913, he lived in Douglas, Ariz. from age 3 months through high school.
He attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and Antioch College in Ohio. Upon graduating from Antioch, he became employed by the U.S. government, where he spent his working career in personnel management. He served first in Sacaton, Ariz., then Yuma, Ariz. and Denver, Colo.
While living in Denver, in 1942 he enlisted in the Navy and served throughout WWII. After his military service, he returned to government service in Coachella Valley, Calif., and then Wellton, Ariz.
Upon retirement, Mr. Wilson returned to his family in Tucson, where he sold life insurance for 10 years and then organs and pianos for 10 years. During this time, he was also an active member of the Optimist Club.
He moved to Payson in 1992 and will long be remembered for his playful disposition, quick wit, acute sense of humor and entertaining one-liners.
Mr. Wilson was preceded in death by his parents, Dedrick Wilson Sr. and Grace Weaver; his wife of 42 years, Verle Meek; and a stepson, Richard Cordaro. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Retta Lee Wilson; son Ronald (Nancy) Wilson of Scottsdale; daughters Sharon Barton (Jim Wadman) of San Diego, Calif. and Marlene (Timothy) Tribble of Sahuarita; stepsons David Tim (Charlane) Cordaro of Mesa, John Cordaro of Knoxville, Tenn., Daniel Cordaro of Knoxville, Tenn.; Paul Cordaro of Payson; Michael (Kathleen) Cordaro of Phoenix; stepdaughters Peggy (Philip) Rang and Susan Cordaro of Foothill Ranch, Calif.; five grandchildren; 15 step-grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of his life is planned at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 11 at Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson, Arizona.
The family requests memorial gifts to be made to RTA Hospice House, Gideon Memorial Bibles or Ponderosa Baptist Church in Payson.