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Kingwood, TX 77339
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James Wesley Wilson, age 90, a faithful servant of the Lord, passed away on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in the loving care of his wife, family and caregiver Helen Ramos at his home in Kingwood, Texas. James was born in Kentwood, Louisiana, on July 29, 1926, to James Easley and Clara Alford Wilson and spent his boyhood years in the small lumber mill town of Bogalusa. His parents instilled in him the value of devotion to family and a steadfast commitment to God and church, which provided the bedrock principles that would guide and sustain James throughout the rest of his life. Growing up he loved spending time hunting with his father, uncles and cousins in the pine woods around Bogalusa and fishing at the family camp on the Bogue Chitto River. James attended Varnado High School, where his mother taught, and there he developed an affinity for mathematics. During that time God's unfolding plan for James led him to take a part-time job at the Bogalusa movie theater. Little did he know, but just next door a girl working in a soda shop would change his life forever. At a party one evening, he met Irene Jannie Cothern, and a courtship ensued. To hear James tell it, Irene watched a lot of movies that year and would constantly drive by the theater waving to him and calling out his name. Thus was the beginning of an unwavering love that would see them through thick and thin for over seventy years. After graduation from high school, James enrolled at Louisiana State University and attended for one year. Upon turning 18 in 1944, he immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served two years of active duty in the Far East. Apparently while in the Navy James had more than his share of KP duty because he liked to say that's where he acquired a skill for peeling potatoes. He returned home to Bogalusa and Irene, who was waiting for him, and the two were married on June 23, 1946. He resumed his college studies that year but decided to remain in the Naval Reserves until 1948, when he was honorably discharged at the rank of Signalman 3rd Class. In 1949 he completed his Bachelors degree in math from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, along with earning a Lifetime Teacher's Certificate in math. His training and aptitude for mathematics landed him a job with Shell Oil Company in New Orleans. It was there in the Crescent City and Lafayette that he and Irene raised a family, traveling virtually every weekend back to Bogalusa to spend time with their parents and kin. They were active in the Downman Road Baptist Church of New Orleans, where James was an ordained deacon, served as the chairman of deacons and as church treasurer. His talents as a woodworker were put to work for the Lord in 1965 when James helped restore the church following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Betsy. In 1973 Shell Oil transferred James to Houston as a Systems Analyst in the company's Information Center. He and Irene settled down in Kingwood. They joined Forest Cove Baptist Church in Humble, and once again James served as a deacon. He worked for Shell another ten years before taking an early retirement in 1983. That allowed him time to pour his creative energy into woodworking. For the next thirty years, activity in his workshop was non-stop as he built cabinets and performed all sorts of remodeling jobs for friends. But his real passion was building furniture for the family, including roll-top desks, complete bedroom suits, and baby cribs, all of which have become treasured heirlooms passed down to successive generations. When he wasn't busy woodworking, you could find James repairing rides for his daughter Janet at the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch, cutting crafts for the younger daughter Gaile, or sitting above the dugout on the third base side at a Houston Astros game. About six years ago James knew something was wrong. His memory began to falter, and he could no longer perform even simple math or calculate measurements for woodworking. One day he walked out of his workshop. And so it remains today, covered in the sawdust of his last project, filled with memories of a kind and patient man who sought to serve others and lived according to the promise of God that "everything will work out" if we only trust Him. In death James has been reunited with his parents, a younger sister Charlene Clotilde Temples, who also succumbed to Alzheimer's, and a great grandson Jaxon Richard Henry. He leaves behind his devoted wife, Irene, of 70 years, daughters Janet Balekian of Flower Mound and Gaile Gertson and husband Richard of Garland; Grandchildren and their spouses: Lori and Brett Landes, Krista and Phillip Hayes, Alisha and Mark Moessner, and Meghan and Chris Henry; and Great Grandchildren: Austin, Preston, Addie, Nash and Harper Landes; Hailey Balekian; Kennedy, and Holden Hayes; and Eva Moessner. Services will be held at Kingwood Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 19, at 3:00 PM, with a viewing for friends and family on Tuesday, April 18, from noon to 4:00 PM. Graveside services will take place at Roselawn Memorial Cemetery in Denton on Thursday, April 20, at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.