Mr. E. Ray Wilson, 88 of Galesburg and formerly of Abingdon, passed away at 4 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2019 at his home.
He was born October 4, 1930 in East Alton, Illinois, the son of Loren R. and Ruth (Smith) Wilson. He married Mabel M. Hileman on December 20, 1953 in Bloomington.
Ray is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mabel; one daughter, Jennifer (and Larry) Leisz of San Clemente, California; two grandchildren, Joseph Leisz of San Clemente, California and Rebecca Leisz of Buellton, California.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Leo Wilson.
He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He later graduated from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois in 1956. He was a music teacher and first taught at Bradford, Illinois. He later became the band director for the Abingdon, Illinois School District and served in that capacity for 25 years before his retirement. He had lived in Galesburg the past two years. He played with dance bands and performed with a 5-piece orchestra, “Midwest Sounds”, which played for ballroom dancing. He also composed 8 songs which have been copywrited. He was awarded the Outstanding Musician Award in 1987 at the Rootabaga Jam Jazz Festival. He was a member of the Abingdon United Methodist Church. His other interests included art and fishing.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the Abingdon United Methodist Church, 401 N. Washington St. in Abingdon followed by his funeral service at 11 a.m., and Flag Presentation. Burial will be in the Abingdon Cemetery. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Abingdon Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.