Howard L. Wilson
Chief Wilson, Charlotte Fire Department (Retired) died on Feb. 11, 2017 at the home of his daughter in Simpsonville, SC after a long illness. He moved from Charlotte to Robbinsville in 2001 where he made his home until 2017.
Chief Wilson was born July 24, 1934 to J. Howard and Mamie Wilson. He grew up in the Wilmore and later West Sugaw Creek Road area of Charlotte, graduating from Harding High School and achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. He served his country honorably in the United States Navy during the Korean War.
On April 1, 1957, he began his career in the Charlotte Fire Department from which he retired on April 1, 1987 at the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. During his career, Chief Wilson served in all ranks of the Department, but is likely to be most remembered for his years as Training Officer at the Palmer Fire School. During his time as a Training Officer, he earned his A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology from Central Piedmont Community College, being among the first to graduate from that program. Chief Wilson was a nationally recognized fire service instructor and speaker; teaching nationwide for the National Fire Academy in Emmittsburg, MD. Even 30 years after his retirement, it would be difficult to find a place in the American Fire Service that was not familiar with Chief Howard Wilson.
After retirement, Chief Wilson started a successful fire investigation and training company, then later worked as a public damage assessor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He finally retired completely and moved to Robbinsville after his beloved wife Evelyn died in 2001. While living in Robbinsville he was very active in the American Legion Post 192 and a member of Blessed Hope Baptist Church.
Chief Wilson enjoyed all things outdoors including hunting, fishing, motorcycle riding, and just about any activity that he could do in the majestic setting of the Smokey Mountains.
He is survived by his son Michael and his wife Anne of Concord, NC; his dedicated and faithful daughter Denise Medford of Simpsonville who cared for him during his illness; his grandson M. Elijah Medford, an Eagle Scout like his grandfather and is a student at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte; and legions of firefighters and first responders across the country.
Chief Wilson was a Christian, patriot, husband to a beloved wife, father to two children, and an American Firefighter.
A celebration of life will be held at the Blessed Hope Baptist Church 454 Mill Creek Circle in Robbinsville on Friday Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.. A memorial service will be held on Sunday Feb. 19, at 3 p.m. at the Palmer Building, 2601 East Seventh Street, Charlotte.
In Chief Wilson's memory, donations or memorials may be made to Blessed Hope Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1252 Robbinsville, NC 28771.