Gene Griffin Wilson

1927 – 2022

Gene Griffin Wilson, child of God and beloved school guidance counselor, died on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Legends of Jefferson Gardens in the company of her family. She reached the amazing age of 94!

Mrs. Wilson was born October 15, 1927, in Fort Worth, Texas as Gene Griffin. She was the eldest child of Mr. J. Rob and Mrs. Nettie Griffin. She was followed several years later by her younger sister Mary Elizabeth, “Beth.”

As her family and friends know, Gene enjoyed a good conversation, engaging with people, and was gifted at public speaking. Her charismatic presence and memorization skills aided her to become an elocution champion in the state of Texas.  Some of Gene’s earliest memories involved attending church every Sunday and Wednesday evening.  She especially excelled at memorizing and reciting scripture. It was in her kindergarten Sunday School class that she met her future husband Kent H. Wilson, though they lost touch until they were reunited in their mid-20’s on a “blind date.”

At times when we look at the sweep of a person’s life, we see different phases. In the early phase of Gene’s life, she was in the Explorer mode. Gene attended Robert Lee Paschal High School in Fort Worth (class of 1954) and from there she went on to the College of William and Mary, pledging Tri Delta and graduating with a degree in history (class of 1949). During her college years she did two terms abroad, at the University of Southhampton, England, and at the University of Oslo, Norway. Gene loved to travel and enjoyed a good adventure. She was known to sneak off for a week or two during her college years to NYC, where she would take in theatre, museums, and opera. That same spirit led to one of her first jobs out of college on the Hungary desk of the CIA.

After traveling around the world with her beloved mother and seeing many wonders, Gene made her way back to Texas. It was there she became reacquainted with Kent Wilson. Following a brief, but romantic courtship, they were married in November of 1954. After short periods in Kansas and New Mexico, the Wilson family made a home in Edmond. Thus began the next phase of Gene’s life: The Three F’s of Family, Friends, and Faith. She loved all three.

Shortly after settling into Edmond, Gene started graduate school ultimately receiving a Masters in School Counseling from what is now UCO. This led to her career as an elementary guidance counselor, first in OKC and then her final years at Chisholm Elementary in Edmond.

Gene has been a member of First Presbyterian Church in Edmond for over fifty years. Through her guidance counseling, church and community connections, assorted book groups, PEO, and Town Halls, she made life-long friendships and found people with whom she could grow in her Christian faith.

She enjoyed attending and leading Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, Cursillo, and other small groups. She appreciated serving as an elder and Stephen Minister. Gene wanted to follow Jesus faithfully all the days of her life.

She was pre-deceased by her parents, sister, and husband. She will be dearly missed by her surviving three children: Beth Wilson, Kirk (Annette Su) Wilson, Gretchen (Tom Avery), and her admiring ten grandchildren: Christina, James, and  Chad Wilson, Kristin and Robert Siegel, Ousman (Fatou) Ceesay, Sam and Rebecca Bretz, Jon (Karen) and Katie Avery, and one great grandchild Abdul Rahmaan Ceesay.

Gene received loving care at Legends of Jefferson Gardens and through Valir Hospice during the last months of her life. The family is forever grateful to her granddaughter Kristin Siegel who regularly spent time with her in these last years and to her beloved friend and devoted caregiver Sharon Plemons for giving her an amazing quality of life.

In the last weeks of her life, she dreamed of being in heaven. Now Gene has entered the final phase of her journey: The Heaven Phase!

A memorial service will be held in the summer.

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