Edward “Ed” Avery Wilson, 98, of Wilmington, legendary and record-setting Little League baseball coach, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, at Trinity Grove.
He was born in Wilmington on July 21, 1917. His parents were Charles Conley Wilson, Sr. and Charlotte Elizabeth Jacobs Wilson. Remembered are his wife of 70 years, Mabry Capps Wilson; a son, Edward “Eddie” Avery Wilson, Jr.; two brothers, Charles Wilson and Glenn Wilson; and a sister, Elizabeth Wilson, all of whom preceded him in death.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Bob Wilson and Lynda Wilson of Decatur, Georgia; grandchildren, Alex Wilson and his wife Denny Aldridge of Salt Lake City, Utah, Matthew Wilson of New York City, and Sarah Elizabeth Wilson of Brevard; daughter-in-law, Peggy Worrell Wilson of Oak Island; grandchildren, Todd Wilson of Asheville and Kelly W. VanSciver and her husband Jason VanSciver of Palm Bay, Florida; and great-grandchildren, Zoe VanSciver and Mae Aldridge Wilson; one brother, Harold Wilson of Jacksonville, Florida; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Ed was a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, where for many years he served on the vestry and as its chair. As a younger man, he worked at Wilmington Iron Works until he joined the Navy during World War II, serving in the Seabees in the Pacific. Upon returning home after World War II, he went to work for the American Molasses Company, where he became production and plant manager until his retirement in 1980.
He was raised in the Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church and, upon marriage, joined the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. He was a member of Pine Valley Country Club, where he enjoyed golf, and also a member of the Winter Park Optimist Club. He was a life member of Optimist International.
For over 25 years, Ed coached Little League baseball in Winter Park. He was one of the original coaches when the league was formed in 1956. During his time as a coach, he took his Hanover Center team to more than 15 league championships and 10 county championships and won two state championships. He also carried his Hanover Center team to 50 consecutive victories, which set a world record for the most consecutive victories by a baseball team at any level of baseball.
He was often referred to as the “Casey Stengel of Little League.” He loved children, and he loved teaching young men baseball. He felt that by doing so, he taught them about winning, losing, teamwork, hard work and doing their best. He believed that what they learned from baseball would make them better men and help lead them to successful lives. He was very proud of the boys he coached and took great joy in their successes in life.
Visitation for family and friends will be at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 11 at the Oleander Memorial Gardens Chapel, with a funeral service beginning at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to the Optimist Club of Winter Park, P.O. Box 3511, Wilmington, NC 28406.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.
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