James Emanuel Wilson, Jr. entered eternal rest on January 3, 2023 after a courageous fight against prostate cancer. Born in Raleigh, NC to the late Bertha Dunston Wilson and James Emanuel Wilson, Sr., he spent his formative years in Louisburg, NC and in the surrounding Perry’s community, and received his early education through the Franklin County public school system. After graduating high school from Immanuel Lutheran College in Greensboro, NC, he attended Hampton Institute (now University), Hampton, VA and graduated from St. Augustine’s College (now University), Raleigh, NC with a BS degree in Biology. Shortly after graduation, Jim moved to the D.C. area where he met his future wife, Shirley Benson, whom he married August 25, 1962.
Jim was an employee of the federal government and began his career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in their department of nutritional studies. A founding member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Jim worked with the team in the pesticide/insecticide registration branch. He was the recipient of numerous awards and certificates of appreciation for his excellent work, expertise and dedication to duty from these two agencies. After 30 years of service, he retired and kept himself busy with his J&S Limousine car service. He enjoyed transporting as well as meeting the diverse group of people he encountered over the years, from the lesser known to the likes of Madeleine Albright, Larry King, Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson, Jr.
A lifelong Presbyterian, Jim began his Christian journey at an early age at St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Louisburg, NC and by letter of transfer, he joined Northeastern. He served on the Deacon Board for two terms. A portion of that time, he served as its Moderator. As an Elder, Jim served numerous terms on Session, often serving as Clerk. In 2010, Rev. Dr. John Gravely awarded him a trophy as “Clerk of Session Extraordinaire 2005-2010”. He also served on various committees of Session, some of which included Interpretation and Stewardship, Nominating and Buildings and Grounds.
Jim loved sports and was a huge fan of D.C.’s Commanders and Nationals. He was a bowler and, for many years, participated in both league and tournament play. Jim was an army veteran, honorably discharged in 1963 after 2 years of active duty at Edgewood Arsenal in Edgewood, MD. He was a member of Masonic organizations Ionic Lodge No. 17 and Mecca Temple No. 10.
He leaves to cherish his memory his loving and dedicated wife of 60 years Shirley, a very dear cousin Joann Cameron of Baltimore, MD, other cousins, a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews and many friends.
A very devoted, loving and caring person, Jim will be sorely missed by all who knew him.