Samuel Paschal Wilson Jr., 72, returned to his Lord on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in the Philippines, after having lived a full life serving others in his home state of Texas and across the world. He is and will continue to be greatly missed by his family and many friends and colleagues.
Sam was born Jan. 12, 1944, in Alvin, Texas. In addition to being a loving family man and friend to many, he was a teacher, preacher, farmer and small-business owner. Sam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, a master’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and a doctoral degree from North Texas State University. He spent the majority of his career teaching political science and history in small Christian colleges. He also was a college tennis coach and taught abroad through a program with the U.S. Department of Defense. Most recently, he was an owner of a number of businesses in the Philippines and served as a professor of International Politics at Çağ University in Adana, Turkey. Through Sam’s teaching and mentoring, he helped others find their passions and fulfill their dreams.
Sam lived all over Texas and throughout the world. Sam and Betty Ann Wilson had their first child abroad, in Monterrey, Mexico while serving as missionaries. Within Texas, Sam lived in San Antonio, San Marcos, Abilene, Denton, San Angelo, Brownwood and Duncanville. He also lived in Hillsdale, Michigan, and a number of cities in Europe. For the last 20 years, Sam divided his time between Texas, Turkey and the Philippines. His travels reflected his openness to life’s experiences. As Sam put it, “If I have not done it, it is because I did not want to or had not thought of it.”
Sam loved his God, his family and a good laugh. As the dad every father aspires to be, Sam displayed his compassionate heart through his wonderful storytelling.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Ann Gunstream Wilson, and his parents, Samuel Paschal Wilson Sr. and Marjorie McCown Lawrence. He is survived by his sister Becky Carter; brother Arthur L. “Larry” Lawrence; sister Marjie Lawrence; son Phil Wilson and Phil’s wife, Kristen, of Austin, Texas; son Derek Wilson and Derek’s wife, Svetlana, of San Diego, California; daughter Andreana Janelle Salazar and her husband, Armando, of Houston; daughter Ariel Goodman of Alabama; and eight grandchildren.
The family will hold a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Grace Fellowship Church, located at 6600 S. Lakewood Drive in Georgetown. Family and friends are welcome to attend to remember Sam and celebrate his life.
Memorial donations may be made in Sam’s name to the Dr. Betty Wilson Memorial Scholarship at Howard Payne University, 1000 Rush Street, Brownwood, TX, 76801.