William A. “Bill” Wilson


William A. “Bill” Wilson, 84, of Wayne, died Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 from complications caused by Covid-19.

No service will be held at this time. The family will have a celebration of life after the pandemic. Burial will be at the McCoy Cemetery in Meadow Grove. 

Memorials may be directed to the Wayne First United Methodist Church or to the family for later designation. 

Bill’s legacy of kindness, honesty, integrity, generosity of time and spirit was prematurely concluded due to Covid-19. A tireless advocate for safety, Bill would have advised this common sense approach - please wear a mask and stay safe.

Bill was born in Milton, Iowa on Oct. 7, 1936 to Fern L. and Lenna Belle (Jamison) Wilson. The family moved to Meadow Grove in 1939. After graduating from Meadow Grove High School in 1954, Bill earned an Associate in Arts Degree from Norfolk Junior College. He enlisted in the Air Force, serving at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California from 1958 to 1962. On Aug. 14, 1965 he was married to Mary Rebecca “Becky” Peeke at her parent’s home in Volga, South Dakota. This August they celebrated 55 years of marriage. 

Bill continued his education, graduating Magna Cum Laude in Industrial Arts from Wayne State College in 1967, then earned a Masters Degree in Education with honors from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  Bill taught Industrial Arts including wood working, auto mechanics, welding, drafting, new technologies and night courses for adults during his 37 year career at Wayne Public Schools, earning multiple teaching honors before retiring in 2004. When he wasn’t teaching, Bill painted and shingled houses, and tilled gardens throughout the community.

Active in the Wayne First United Methodist Church, Bill was a member, painter, shingler, pew refinisher, dishwasher, coffee-maker, cookie eater, greeter… ready to help with whatever needed doing. His contributions extended to Camp Fontanelle near Fremont, where he served as a camp counselor, advisory board member, and worked to improve the facilities in the off-season. Bill established the Hunter Safety program in Wayne and was a Hunter Safety / Education instructor for nearly 50 years - no Nebraskan has been involved longer. He nurtured a passion for hunting safely throughout his life. Bill was also a founding member of the Logan Valley Gun Club which created the trap range at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

Over the course of his lifetime, Bill built and gave custom woodworking pieces to friends and family including bread boxes, cookbook holders, and spice chests. Bill enjoyed coffee and conversation, jokes, games, puzzles, problem solving, canoeing, hiking, and the great outdoors. He never missed an opportunity to spend time with his children, grandchildren, friends and family. If ever a kid needed a trustworthy adult, Bill could be counted on.

Survivors include his wife Becky; son Ben, daughter-in-law Polly and grandson Cyrus of Sherman Oaks, California; son Sam, daughter-in-law Sarah and grandsons Leo and Rex of Lincoln. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jay Wilson; his sisters, Evelyn Hamley and Kay Berg; and nieces Nancy Quan and Carol Hamley.