03/06/05 — BOBBY WILSON

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R.M. (Bobby) Wilson, 79, of Highway 70 East, Goldsboro, died Friday, March 4, 2005.

A Wayne County native of the Elroy community, he was the son of Troy and Esther Wilson of the Elroy community.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Griffin Wilson; two daughters, Karen Wilson Haithcock and Sharon Kathleen Crawford, and two son-in-laws, Tim Haithcock and Hank Crawford; four grandchildren, Worth Haithcock, Troy Haithcock, Kader Crawford and Lauren Crawford; a sister, Mollie Ivey and brother-in-law, Harry Ivey; and two nephews, Bob and Ted Ivey.

Mr. Wilson played professional baseball from 1945 to 1954. He attended Oak Ridge Military School and was signed by the Cleveland Indians at age 18. He was enshrined into the Oak Ridge Military Academy Sports Hall of Fame in October 1996. He played in the Class A Eastern League at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he batted .309 and led the league in stolen bases with 30 or more, each year, for three years. He played for the International League Baltimore Orioles, at shortstop. The next 3 years he played for the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League and was on the All-Star team each season.

He continued a lifetime strong interest in baseball and advised many young players. Bobby did not officially work as a scout, but was a contact between scouts and young players with potential. Since 1969, he was an active member of the North Carolina Professional Baseball Representatives and in 2003, was presented the organizations' first ever award for contributions to a lifetime of baseball and named in his honor, the Bobby Wilson Baseball Award. The same year he received the George Whitfield Award for contribution to baseball.

He came home in 1954 and started several business projects. He opened a restaurant called Bobby Wilson Barbecue. He started a Gas-a-teria, an independent self service station, the first in Wayne County. He got that idea while living in San Diego. He added a tire and radiator shop. He served on the New Hope School Advisory Board for 15 years and the Goldsboro Planning Board for 10 years. He was a life long member and supporter of the New Hope Friends Meeting. Bobby was named for his grandfather, Robert Monroe Wilson, who donated the original land for New Hope Friends Meeting. He was one of the original principals in starting the Sleepy Creek Golf course in the 1960s.

Mr. Wilson was blessed with a sunny disposition, a generous nature, and many friends. He had a wonderful ability to laugh at life and most of its problems. His latter years were full of grandchildren, golf and daily celebrations of life at T E's store -- where old and young could have a soda and good conversation every morning but Sunday. Here, amid the antique garage implements of another era, he held court for neighborhood regulars and any newcomers who happened by. Kathleen and Bobby were devoted to each other for 55 years of their married life.

The family will receive friends from 4 until 7 p.m., Sunday, March 6, 2005 at the home of Tim and Karen Haithcock on 113 Fairmax Road. A graveside service will be at the Wilson Family Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 7, 2005. Location is directly behind Highway 111 South Food Lion.

Memorials may be made to New Hope Friends Meeting, 4451 U.S. 70 East, Goldsboro, NC 27534.

(Written & Paid by the Family)

Published in Obituaries on March 6, 2005 9:34 AM