John Howard Wilson, Jr., of Daphne, Alabama, departed this life to be in the company of angels on Oct. 25, 2023, after a short but heroic fight with cancer. Howard joins his sister Lisa W. Collins and his parents, Laurel W. Wilson, and John H. Wilson.
Howard was born on Nov. 20, 1959, in Mobile, Alabama, where he was blessed with a large group of wonderful friends who continued to be in his life through adulthood. He attended UMS and graduated in 1978. After high school, Howard attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and majored in natural resources. While at Sewanee, Howard continued to make lifelong friends and discovered a love of learning.
At Sewanee, Howard met the love of his life, Sally. They married in 1989. Howard and Sally soon moved to Daphne and started their family. Howard was an adoring and protective father to his accomplished daughters, Audrey Bray, and Helen Kate. He loved them beyond measure, and they were his greatest gifts.
Howard and Sally joined St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where Howard became an integral part of the church community. At St. Paul’s, he served many roles, including as junior and senior warden of the vestry and as a delegate to the Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Howard proudly participated in various ministries, such as an annual construction mission trip to the Dominican Republic. He was ever-present and happy to serve the church for any need, large or small. Howard now serves us through the Holy Spirit and will always be in the hearts of so many.
Howard loved the woods and worked to preserve and manage the land entrusted to him, which he could spend hours walking around. He was a devoted steward of God’s creation. He was a member of Mobile Baykeeper and The Longleaf Alliance, and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and passion for the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast. Howard also loved to travel and experience new and familiar adventures, from a weekslong trip through Southeast Asia with his daughter Audrey to returning to the trails of Sewanee with his daughter Helen, who followed in his footsteps as a natural resources major.
Howard was a kind and gentle man who was always willing to help those in need. His honest manner endeared him to many people. He exuded a peace that was genuine and comforting to others. Howard was a devoted husband to Sally, a faithful son, and a fiercely dedicated brother to his three sisters, Lisa, Gaye, and Laurel Ann. He loved his family dearly, and they loved him.
Howard is survived by his wife, Sally M. Wilson, and daughters, Audrey and Helen Wilson, his sisters Gaye Wilson and Laurel Ann Wilson (Christine), his brother-in-law Perry Collins, and his niece Sarah C. Springs and nephew Rob Collins, along with their families. He is also survived by his uncle, John P. Willoughby (Helen), cousins John Willoughby, Erin Jozik, and Katie Root, many in-laws and extended family, and countless dear friends. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him, and his spirit will remain in the places he loved.
A visitation was held on Thurs., Nov. 2, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Daphne, followed by a service at 11:00 a.m. A private family graveside service followed.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Daphne, Alabama.