Lillian Claire Smith Wilson, a gossip-friendly columnist for Alice Echo News, passed away Saturday at the age of 92.
Her front-page column, Street Scenes, was enjoyed by many and readers would get a glimpse of who was on vacation and happenings around Alice.
Her work for the Echo included covering the school board, county and city activities, plus writing the obituary section. She then left the newspaper for 18 months to work for Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Lillian returned to the Echo as Managing Editor.
“My mother and Lillian were friends before I was born, so I knew her all of my life,” said Molly Bingham, a longtime friend of Wilson. “She was a rare person who refused to be defeated by any hardship. Her faith and her determination were so strong that she overcame the many problems that came her way.”
Wilson was a dedicated Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church where she taught junior, intermediate and senior classes and was interim youth director for over a year. She was the second oldest living member at the church.
A friend for about 60 years, Kathy Butler said Wilson was like a mother to her. She would spend most of her afternoons with Wilson, talking or watching television.
“She was sweet and loveable and she was always ready to lend a helping hand,” Butler said. “I'm going to miss going over there.”
As a teenager, she started writing for the Coyote Howl in high school, which piqued her interest to become a newspaper reporter. She graduated from William Adams High School in 1940. She continued her education and received her bachelor's then master's degree through correspondence courses.
She loved to garden and became president of the Alice Garden Club.
Wilson was also president of Schallert Elementary, Dubose, and Alice High School PTA. She was a Cub Scout den mother.
Wilson is remembered as a good mother who worked hard for her family.
“She loved her children so much and was determined to give them the best life possible,” Bingham said. “...no matter how hard she had to work.”
Visitation was held on Monday, August 24, 2015 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Holmgreen Mortuary in Alice. Friends were invited to Lillian’s “Celebration of Life” at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at First Baptist Church in Alice.