HICKORY Glenn G. Wilson of Hickory, passed away Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. He was 79. Born to Jay William Wilson and Janie Mae Wilson, Jan. 11, 1940, Glenn grew up in Marion. He attended Marion High School, where he starred as guard and linebacker on the Rippers' championship football teams of '57 and '58. After graduating in '59, Glenn attended Appalachian State University on both an athletic and scholastic scholarship. He played football for the Mountaineers for four years, before taking a degree in Physical Education. After serving as an assistant football coach at Burlington Williams High School and West Mecklenburg High School, he took a head coaching job at Taylorsville High, later Alexander Central High. Through his work ethic, inspired leadership, and inventive strategies, the football program flourished through Wilson's 26-year career. Compiling his 149 wins (against 114 losses and 6 ties), Coach Wilson won nine conference titles, earned Coach of the Year honors five times, and coached on the staff of the 1973 East-West All Star Game. In 1983, he led the Cougars to their only undefeated season. To honor his stellar career, in 2011 Alexander Central named the field at Cougar Stadium the Glenn G. Wilson Field. In 2013, Wilson was inducted into Alexander County Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Wilson believed that football was more than just a game; it was an arena where young men could develop virtues that would guide them through life: discipline, fortitude, courage, intelligence, the ability to work well with others. And Coach Wilson valued academics as much as he did athletics. He was constantly checking on his players' grades, and he made it clear: if you want to play for your coaches Friday night, you've got to work for your teachers the other days. That Wilson's players from decades ago continued to stay in touch with him is a testament to his influence. He often exclaimed to the Cougars before each game, "If I could play, we'd win." Such was his passion, the players believed him fully. Yes, if this 40-something-year-old man could strap on the helmet again, he would block holes big enough for a truck to drive through. No wonder decades of Cougars played out their hearts for this man. But while Glenn poured his own heart into his coaching, he put just as much energy into his family. Glenn G. Wilson was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Donald Wilson and Howard Wilson. He is survived by his wife, Camilla Wilson, of Hickory; son, Eric Glenn Wilson and partner, Joy Fielding King, of Winston-Salem; son Kirk Graham Wilson and wife, Christine Bean, of New York City; grandchildren, Una Ilene Wilson, Oliver Redford Bean-Wilson; sister, Edith Edwards and husband, S.J. Edwards, of Marion; brother, Bob Wilson and wife, Bernice Wilson, of Marion; stepdaughter, Shelly Abee Jones and husband, Kevin, of Boiling Springs; stepdaughter, Lisa Abee of Newton; stepgrandson, Christopher Warren and wife, Mindy; stepgranddaughter, Maggie Bates; stepgranddaughter, Taylor Jones Campbell and husband, Andrew; stepgrandson, Ryan Jones; and stepgreat-granddaughters, Karsyn and Charlee Warren. A funeral service in Glenn's honor will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m., at Christ Lutheran Church. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens in Hickory. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 to 3 p.m., prior to the service. Memorials may be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 324 Second Ave. SE, Hickory, NC 28602; or the National Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st St., Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131. Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of Glenn G. Wilson and condolences may be sent at www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.
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