Lena Wilson: A Song in Her Heart
Born in Fort Valley, Georgia on March 17, 1926, Lena Wilson is the daughter of Ernest and Alberta Johnson (née Collier).
Music has always been her passion and when in high school, she often sang the morning hymn before classes began. After graduating from H.A. Hunt High School in 1945, she moved to Far Rockaway, New York where she met and married Orlando Wilson, Jr. in 1947.
In the fifties, she moved to Brooklyn and stayed there until coming to Jacksonville in 2015. Even with dementia and Alzheimer’s greatly diminishing her cognitive abilities, she continued to sing and intoned her last melodious notes on March 18, a day after her 92nd birthday.
While in Brooklyn, Bibi, as she was affectionately called by her grandchildren and many others, used her beautiful voice to lift up the Lord in Calvary Baptist Church’s Senior Choir and then for the last 35 plus years, at Zion Shiloh Baptist Church as a faithful member and soloist of the Gospel Chorus. Her most often requested selections were God Specializes and His Eye is on the Sparrow.
Lena Wilson will be remembered as a faithful, dedicated church member, a kind and loyal friend but especially as a devoted and loving mother and grandmother who aside from raising her six children, fostered almost 30 others.
At the tender age of fifty-five, she embarked on college studies and received an Associate’s Degree from Empire State College in New York. She also got her driver’s license at that time and chauffeured family and friends wherever they needed to go until age 82 when forced to surrender her driving privileges.
Lena was preceded in death by her husband, Orlando Wilson, son, Barry and grandson, Elaczar.
Lena “Bibi” Wilson, this soulful, willful and dynamic woman will be mourned by her children, Alberta, William, Claude, Brian and Stacy, her grandchildren, Kishia, Martine, FruQuan, Shanta, Fabrice, Trina, Taricq, Janyce, Nathaniel, Tashay, William W., William G., Tatiyana, Raymel, Briana, Malena, BJ, Solomon, and Shilea, honorary granddaughter Candice, great-grandchildren, Lannister, Gabriella, Emily, Jubilee, Aubrey, Amir, Lauren, Jaylen, Aaron, Tyson, Derrick, Cedrick and Kiyshi Grisby, great-great grandchildren, Paris, Tiana, Tierra and Xailyn, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends too numerous to note as she joins the pantheon of ancestors.
We miss you already but you are at rest in the tender arms of the Father. Sunset in Middleburg, Florida on March 21, 2018.