I was saddened to hear about the death of Mr. Luther H. Wilson, Jr.
While attending Thomson High School as a student many, many years ago, Mr. Wilson served as assistant principal.
As a school news reporter, our paths crossed many times. Mr. Wilson was always so nice to me. I always had the greatest respect for him and had always wanted to do an in depth feature story on him and his life after becoming a "real" newspaper reporter one day.
Years and years passed, but I never forgot Mr. Wilson. And I never forgot about wanting to do that story about his life.
Last year, we embarked on a series honoring local residents during a salute to Black History Month in The McDuffie Mirror. I remembered my longtime friend, Mr. Wilson.
I telephoned him one day seeking permission to come by his home and do the story that I had longed to do. He was most gracious in allowing me to do so.
I'll remember Mr. Wilson for many reasons. One of those reasons and perhaps the most important was that he was a man who truly believed in seeing the good in all people. He took chances on people who needed work, offering them a job with a business, known as WilsoonFixit, following his retirement as a highly-devoted educator and administrator.
He was a man of God; a man of character and totally committed to his family. Mr. Wilson was a man who put others first - rather than himself - in life.
His passing has left another giant void within our community.
Mr. Wilson was a man who enjoyed giving of himself. He was not selfish. He also loved his church, Water Branch Baptist Church near Grovetown.
Mr. Wilson was a man of integrity; a man of strong principle and a man who wasn't scared to stand up for what he believed.
He served this community in so many ways. He was a member of the City of Thomson Planning Commission and a former member and vice-chairman of the McDuffie County Board of Education. He also was a charter member of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce and served in numerous positions with educational organizations. He also served his country in the U.S. Army.
In his younger years, Mr. Wilson also was most active in a civic organization known as the Thomson Progressive Civic Club. He went on to organize the RSC Club, which operated the first and only black swimming pool in the history of Thomson.
I will miss my friend, Mr. Wilson. I will often think about him and the many values he taught me as a young boy growing up in Thomson. I never forgot them and still apply many of them to my life, today.
Mr. Wilson was one of the most honorable men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. When he told you something, you could count on it being correct. He didn't lie. And he didn't like being around those who did.
As a servant of God, Mr. Wilson always tried to help those less fortunate than himself.
Such a man will be greatly missed, especially by those of us who knew him, admired him and loved him.