Jerri E. Wilson (Jerry)

Hey Gayla,

    I want to thank you for your efforts last year when I was looking for my long lost stepbrother Jerri E. Wilson and clearing up the confusion with the other Jerry Wilson of 1971 ( unless I have the years backwards, need to go back and look), sending the yearbook pics was a nice effort on your part which confirmed the year of his graduation which I wasn't exactly sure on, I really really appreciate that.  Jerri grew to 6'4" and 245 pounds, quick as a cat and extremely charismatic. My step dad told me he was a heck of a baseball player and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians as a catcher out of high school but knee problems curtailed his sports career.

    Thru some more research and a paid people search site I found his wife under a new name and a Google search yielded an article about her.  The article mentioned her late husband , my step brother .  I promptly tracked down her home number and luckily caught her at home, she had remarried a retired former NFL Hall of Fame quarterback.  So the mystery has unfortunately been solved to a degree although I still have some unanswered questions.  Although my Mother and his Father were already deceased, we were never informed of Jerri's death. He was estranged from his real Mother and a much older other half-brother Kenneth Wilson, another former Kimball grad.

      Jerri E. Wilson died of a tragic accident at his home on the beach in Malibu , California in the 1996, just months after I had last spoken to him, which now explains why he seemed to drop off the face of the earth and I lost touch.  I have been searching periodically for 13 yrs for him. His Father, my stepdad, passed 13 yrs before.

   In case you ever talk with an alumni and they ask about him they should know he became a very successful entrepreneur. He attended North Texas State initially and was going to be a Dentist but dropped out to get involved in Sales career, selling Popcorn machines into clubs of all things. Moving to Boston and then Atlanta he sold Popcorn machines and then eventually into selling Encyclopedias by being an innovator in telemarketing, calling on preset appts of people out in the country in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.  He was #3 in the World for Encyclopedia Britannica at the age of 24, and he did it in only 7 months of that year.  and he did it while simultaneously selling funeral plots in Atlanta as well during the same time period, also the top producer in that company.  He got back into the vending machine business he was in previously, becoming National Sales manager of that company at 27.  He bought out that company and started another, setting up offices in Beverly Hills, and started a successful cosmetics company as well.  He built an awesome house on the beach in Malibu, Ca, his neighbors included many celebrities and luminaries, such as (Pierce Brosnan, Arnold Palmer, Danny Devito, to name a few, a who's who list). He traveled the world and led a charmed life before dying in a tragic accident cleaning  a firearm from his gun collection.  He was 43 years old.

You have my permission to post an announcement of his passing , maybe a thread like I have seen where people can post comments or stories of him in high school or growing up in Oak Cliff which they can relate...or maybe I will if you direct me how to do so.

He was a very special individual, not sure if people recognized that of him at a young age or in high school but he did end up becoming something quite extraordinary.  He was my hero and I miss him and am heartbroken that he is gone. His father became my stepfather at 12 and was tough fireman /carpenter form Oak cliff who was tough on both of us but taught us many life lessons which we didn't appreciate till later in life...we shared this and it bonded us.

    I had tried to find out what happened to him various times to no avail , then would quit searching for awhile.  My contact with you got me much closer to finding him and got my hopes up that I was closing the gap on finding him. ( I thought maybe he moved out of the country or the Malibu fires spurred him leave, didn't know, the mystery was bothering me)

I was getting ready to have you put something on your website like we had discussed before I found him.

Thanks for the condolences.  He was the son of Don E. Wilson, long time 25 yr.  Dallas Firefighter and Carpenter, Boy Scout leader and later Lay preacher/ Bible Study leader at Tyler St.. Methodist in Oak Cliff,  who retired while at the fire station at Westmoreland and Jefferson in mid 70's. His Father Don had also worked at my Mothers Real Estate office at Hampton & Davis, where they met.

I'm not even sure if his Mother Dottie Wilson was ever informed of his death or if she was even alive but I understand no effort was made to contact her because of their estrangement, and we lost track of his half brother Kenneth and he probably might not know.... if Kenneth is even still alive, I'm not sure.

I had seen a pic from one of the Kimball alumni sites of a Little League baseball team that listed Jerry Wilson, would be interested in knowing if that was him or the other Jerry.  Jerri E. Wilson's name with the different spelling was often listed as Jerry by mistake.  Jerri was a bear of a guy, quick as a cat and tough as hell....another of the Oak Cliff bad asses of which there are many. they grow up tough in Oak cliff, don't they.

Jerri married a gal 8 yrs older named Diane who believed in him and spurred him on, she worked side by side with him in all the business ventures and sales ventures.  They were married 23 years and 23 days she told me.

  Again, the Kimball alumni site and your efforts in particular rekindled my efforts to reconnect with him . Like I said, I looked intermittently over the years, then would get caught up in my busy life and not look for awhile...then in talking to you and mistakenly thinking the other Jerry Wilson was possibly him it got my hopes up...though I was let down when we found it was the wrong Jerry, it wet my appetite and strengthened my resolve to stay after the search.

His Dad was very proud of him and his success, I was the closest to him of my family, his stepbrothers and stepsisters> so I sought to reconnect with him as the last tie to his Dad Don.  Something was strangely spurring me on the find out why he disappeared, a weird intuition that something wasn't right.   He was a hero to me in many ways, though I am saddened by knowing he is gone it is so much better than the wondering about what happened. 

Thanks again for your part in helping me resolve this. 
Your new friend always...

Sam