Celebrating a major milestone: Mary Lee Wilson’s 100th birthday

by Rev. Carolyn Wilson

Mary-Wilson-100th-bday-0816-web-300x225, Celebrating a major milestone: Mary Lee Wilson’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents
Mary Wilson celebrates her birthday over lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

Mary Lee Wilson is a native of Texas, born Sept. 16, 1916, in Refugio, Texas, where her early years were spent. Her family later relocated to Corpus Christi, Texas, where she met and married the love of her life, Curtis L. Wilson Sr., and to that union six children were born.

They relocated the family to San Francisco, California, in the late ‘40s, where she was very active in the community in which she lived, reaching out to all in need and known to all as Ms. Mary Lee. She is much beloved for her hospitality and her superb cooking and baking skills.

She was an active member of the Corpus Christi Texas Alumni Association of the Bay Area, known for their fundraisers and generous donations that would benefit youth continuing their education.

Mary-Wilson-100th-b’day-grandson-Breland-Tillmon-gave-2-leis-of-100-1-bills-Lillian-Jazarae-Breland-Mary-Byron-300x166, Celebrating a major milestone: Mary Lee Wilson’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents
Mary Wilson’s grandson Breland Tillmon and his family presented his grandmother with two leis made of 100 one dollar bills to welcome her to a new stage of life. At left is Grandma Mary’s daughter Lillian, at far right her daughter Marilyn and behind her are Jazarae, Breland, Mary and Byron.

She retired in December 1978 from UC Medical Center of San Francisco after 35 years of service. While there, she received numerous awards of appreciation for her service and the Employee of the Year award. She is a lifetime member of the UCSF Nursing Alumni Association and the ILWU Local 10, where her husband retired from in June of 1978.

She also was a profitable business woman, starting as a hobby designing knitting and crochet items, later to be sold under the name “Lee’s Designs.” She contracted with high end department stores, such as Saks’s Fifth Avenue, and I. Magnin of San Francisco, as well as the gift shop at UC Medical Center.

Mary-Wilson-100th-b’day-served-by-chef-at-Metropolitan-Golf-Links-300x169, Celebrating a major milestone: Mary Lee Wilson’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents
At her Milestone Birthday Celebration earlier this summer at Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, Mary Wilson is served by the chef.

She enjoyed over 57 plus years of partnership in marriage to the late Curtis L. Wilson Sr. Her life is a living testimony of the benefits of a life fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:16).

She is the matriarch of her family – her children, Lillian, Carolyn, Marilyn, Curtis Jr., Phyllis and one granddaughter Karen that she raised. Her oldest daughter Anita is deceased. She has 20 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and 19 great great grandchildren.

This is a very special occasion for our family and we are blessed, honored and excited for our mother as she approaches her 100th birthday. She is a strong women of faith and has touched so many lives during her lifetime.

Mary-Wilson-100th-b’day-4-generations-celebrate-300x165, Celebrating a major milestone: Mary Lee Wilson’s 100th birthday, Culture Currents
Four generations gather to celebrate the long and distinguished life of Mary L. Wilson.

Her Milestone Birthday Celebration happened early this summer at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland. But celebrating her birthday will be twice as special for the Wilson family. The Centennial Celebration will take place in her honor at her home church, in which she is so proud to be a member, at Saint Paul Tabernacle Baptist Church in San Francisco.

Rev. Carolyn Wilson is the daughter of Mary L. Wilson and a minister at Union Baptist Church in Vallejo. She can be reached at Cwilson3142@att.net.