Charles Wilson Profile Photo
1938 Charles 2023

Charles Wilson

September 15, 1938 — December 2, 2023

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Charles Edward Wilson of Hardy, Arkansas passed away on December 2, 2023. Charles was born September 15, 1938 in Hardy. After graduation from Hardy High School in 1956, he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1960. He attended ROTC at the University and joined the U.S. Air Force after college.

His Air Force career began with medical service school, and he was soon tasked with transferring medical equipment and personnel to support the Cuban Missile Crisis. Upon completion of squadron officer school, he was transferred to Wheelus Air Base in Libya where he was commissioned as Commander of the 7272 Medical Squadron involved in assisting evacuation of dependents and civilians from Libya during the Arab-Israeli Seven-Day War. He became Commander, Det 5 of the 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing at Kelly AFB, Texas where he commanded an Air Evac Detachment during “Operation Homecoming” responsible for transfer of POWs to hospitals in their home states. Remaining in Texas, he became Commander of the student squadron and Executive Officer at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB. He later received the Humanitarian Service Medal for participating in the recovery of survivors and victims of the Jonestown Massacre Murder-Suicide Pact where more than 900 people died. He also worked on development of new medical equipment for the Air Evac system and was transferred to the Philippines where he served as Commander of the 9th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Clark Air Base. His final position was as Director of Programs and Personnel at the Aerospace Medical Division and the 1,000-bed Wilford Hall USAF Hospital and Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. During his years with the air evac system, he logged more than 2,000 hours in C-9A, C-130, and C-141 aircraft as medical crew supervisor on air evac missions. Additional honors during his military career include the Air Force Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaves, Legion of Merit, and the Senior Medical Service Corps Badge.  

Ending his military career as a U. S. Air Force Colonel, he retired and returned home to Hardy in 1985 and began a new career in banking. Charles had a love for antique cars and related collectible items and spent his entire adult life pursuing that passion. He loved his community and served as a member of Kiwanis International since 1987; as director on the boards of the Sharp County Airport Commission, Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service, White River Area Agency on Aging, Mary Harmon Floral Gardens, and Hardy History Association; and as Chairman of the Hardy Advertising & Promotion Commission. He represented Sharp County as Chairman of the Business Committee of the Governor’s Rural Development Program, worked with the WRAAA to develop an elderly housing complex in Hardy, and assisted with the application putting Hardy in the Main Street Arkansas program - the smallest town in the state and nation to be included in the program at the time.  

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 38 years, Darlene Wilson of Hardy; daughters, Rebecca (Philip) Ashcroft of Cherokee Village, Kimberly Wilson of Hardy, and Debra (Greg) Amerson of Plano, Texas; a son, Jeffrey (Coco) Dyal de Castro of Los Angeles, California; five grandchildren: Keenan, Brady, Piper, and Evelyn Amerson and Ripley Dyal de Castro; many extended family members and a host of good friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Woodrow and Nadine Hall Wilson of Hardy.

Visitation of family and friends will be Friday, December 8, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Tri-County Funeral Home in Highland with funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m.

Burial with military honors will be in the Hardy Cemetery. Pallbearers are Greg Amerson, Philip Ashcroft, Judge Mark R. Johnson, Ernie Rose, Darrell Taylor, and Clint Wiles. Honorary pallbearers include brother-in-law Bob Brown and all Spring River Car Club members including Gary Cobb, Larry Gorski, Butch Koennecke, Les Lambert, Steve Lewis, Tom Osborne, Chandler Slater, and Ron Stamper.

Memorials may be given to Hardy History Association, P.O. Box 368, Hardy, AR 72542.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Wilson, please visit our flower store.

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