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Local who died in accident remembered as a family man

POSTED: August 3, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Special photo/For the Barrow County News

Dale Wilson pictured with his three sons, Caleb, Coleman and Lane.

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A Winder man who leaves behind three children is remembered for his generosity and being a devoted father.

Friends of Dale "Jerry" Wilson say the 47-year-old was the type of person who led by example whether at church, coaching youth sports or being a dad to his three sons. Wilson, who died last week, spent nine years coaching in Barrow County including various teams that his sons played on.

His schedule with the Barrow County Parks & Recreation Department was always full. He coached football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring and most years also led all-star baseball teams.

"Having someone that dependable and involved for the general interest of the kids in youth sports is awesome, but what tops it for me and other staff members was the actual friendship," said Kurt Cooper, director of the Barrow County Parks & Recreation Department. "He was just a laid back, country boy that enjoyed youth sports and was just a very good friend and an outstanding father."

A memorial fund has been set up at South State Bank in Winder to benefit Wilson’s sons Caleb, 18, Coleman, 13, and 11-year-old Lane.

This fall Lane’s football team will wear decals on their helmets in honor of his father and the Barrow Parks & Recreation Department will also do some other things to pay respect to a man who meant so much to the teams he coached, Cooper said.

"Dale Wilson will be etched in memory here at the park, but his memory will be echoed for years to come," he said.

Wilson died July 28 in a construction accident after falling off of a ladder while working on a site near the Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology. The funeral was scheduled to take place Aug. 2 at Riverhills Church where Wilson attended.

When the church was meeting at the Winder YMCA, Wilson would be there at 7 a.m. each Sunday helping set up chairs with his sons. Wilson also installed a septic tank when the church moved to its Bethlehem location.

"You’re talking about a $30,000-40,000 job for free and that’s all because he loved his church," Riverhills Church Pastor Chip Wheeler said.

Wheeler remembers the project taking longer what Wilson expected, but that did not deter him.

Wilson was the president of Po Boys Plumbing in Winder where he worked with his brother Darian.

"It was a bigger job than he thought but he said, ‘we said we’re going to do it, so we’re going to get it done,’" Wheeler said.

Wheeler said he’s still in shock about Wilson’s passing.

"In 20 years of ministry this has probably been one of the biggest tragedies I’ve had to deal with," he said. "Not only because he’s young and leaving behind his boys, but also because he was a great guy."

Cooper said he was touched by the reaction he saw from one of the kids that Wilson coached.

"When he learned that Dale had passed he cried like he cried for someone in his own family," he said. "I think that sums up how much of an impact how he had on the youth."

Wilson was the type of person who was always willing to help and didn’t need to have everyone know about it when he did, Wheeler said.

"He was an incredible dad, he loved his boys, he was my buddy, not just a church member to me," he said.


How to help

A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the children of Dale Wilson. Donations may be made to the Benefit for Dale Wilson at South State Bank in Winder.



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