Elsie Venena Wilson

September 22, 1922 ‒ May 27, 2017

Marengo, Ohio

Elsie Venena Wilson, 94, passed away peacefully on May 27, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.

Elsie, the daughter of Garfield and Maggie Swiney, was born on September 22, 1922, in Neva Tennessee.  She graduated from Blountville High School, where she received special recognition for perfect attendance throughout her entire 12 years of school.

She attended business college on a full scholarship and worked in the office of a furniture store.   On February 14, 1942, she married her sweetheart, Andrew Wilson, at the home of a local radio preacher in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Andy and Elsie moved near Richmond, Indiana, and then to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Andy attended God’s Bible School in preparation for ministry.

They moved to Deadwood, South Dakota embarking on their first pastorate at the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

In 1956, they moved to Fargo, Ohio where they served faithfully together for thirty years.  As a pastor’s wife, Elsie was fully involved in the various ministries of the church.  She organized Vacation Bible Schools, taught Sunday School, led singing, and volunteered in many other capacities.  She also served in leadership for Wesleyan Women at the local and district levels.

Often, she accompanied her husband on visits of compassion to the sick and suffering.

After Andy’s death in 1991, Elsie launched a new chapter in her life, by investing herself in grief support work and volunteering for hospice.

As a hospice worker, she visited the dying, bringing words of comfort and singing hymns.  She also crafted quilts, afghans and numerous other crocheted items which were sold at the annual hospice auction, raising over $30,000.

In 2004, she was honored as the Outstanding Senior Citizen of Morrow County and in 2015, received the prestigious Ambassador Award for the Northwest Healthcare Alliance.

Elsie held the honor of being the Hospice of Morrow County’s longest continually serving volunteer.  At the time of her death, she was believed to be the oldest hospice volunteer in the nation.

A faithful member Fargo Wesleyan Church, Elsie was present every time the doors were open.  She also enjoyed participating in Morrow County Senior Citizen’s events and activities with the Red Hat Ladies.

Elsie is survived by her sister, Kate, and sons Wayne (Beverly) of Centerburg, Sam (Linda) of Marengo, Steve (Sandy) of Vonore, TN, Tim (Becky) of Marengo, and Mark (Cathy) of Hayward, WI.  She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandson and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Andrew; her parents, Garfield and Maggie; her siblings Ray and Bertha; her infant son, Tommy, and her grandson, Donnie.

Friends may call on the family on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 from 4-7 PM at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, 637 North State Route 61, Sunbury, Ohio 43074.  Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 11 AM at the Fargo Wesleyan Church, 4010 County Road 15, Marengo, Ohio 43334.  Burial will follow in Fargo Cemetery.

Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South Street, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338 or Fargo Wesleyan Church, 4010 County Roadd 15, Marengo, Ohio 43334.

The DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home of Sunbury is honored to serve Mrs. Wilson’s family.  Special memories and condolences can be shared with them at www.snyderfuneral homes.com .

  • I’m so sorry to all of you on the loss of your mother. She was such a wonderful lady. I now work at Bennington Glenn Nursing Home and she would come in and talk and sing to all the residents. Definitely an angel.

    Carolyn Baldwin

  • What n amazing lady. She had a heart of gold and a very giving spirit. She was an inspiration to all that knew her. I will truly miss her. May your memories bring you peace and comfort as you know she is know singing with the angels .

  • Your first day in Heaven how happy you must be. Seeing Jesus for the first time. Seeing Andy again. To be greeted by all those saints who have gone on before. Welcome home Elsie. Thank you for all your guidance and love through the years. We love you and will miss you until we meet again.

  • Elsie was an inspiration to many people. She touched many lives with her ministry and life. She did a wonderful job at Hospice of Morrow County touching many lives. She was a wonderful mother, wife and servant of Christ. She was a blessing to many people. Many Hospice staff members, community members, patients, church members and friends will miss her. Her life has a left a positive impact of God’s love to many people. We thank the Lord for her life.

  • Elsie was such a good and faithful servant. Many times I have listened to her sing to clients and witnessed the peace that she was able to bring to them. Will miss her so much. When our loved ones become a memory, Our memories become treasures.

  • So sorry for everyone’s loss. But I am sure that Elsie is running around so excited at being home, and with her husband again.
    And she has become a part of “great crowd of witnesses” praying and cheering us on.

  • So sorry for the loss of such a devoted , Mother , servant, to and for everyone Elsie knew and was in contact with. Elsie was so Greatly Loved By All, and Who Will Be Missed By All. God Bless You All

  • You certainly have my sympathy. I know you’ll miss her greatly.

    I have fond memories of her leading us ‘kids’ in choruses. I remember the last one we’d sing was “Into my Heart”.

    She was a great example as a Pastor’s wife and was always friendly and had a smile for everyone. Everyone was welcome in her home!

    She wrote in one of my autograph books, ‘Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last’.

    You are in my prayers.

    Nina Litzinger

  • The Wilson family has been very influential in my life. As a young green pastor starting out in ministry,both Andrew and Elsie were so encouraging and supportive. When we were getting ready to go to Haiti as missionaries in 1962, Elsie was the inspiration behind a linen shower for the new missionaries. We were totally overwhelmed by the response from the Women’s Missionary Society. We never had to buy a towel, bedsheet, blanket or quilt during the 8 years we served!! Elsie blessed many lives as she exemplified the Love of Jesus. Praise God, another faithful Pilgrim has made it safely Home!!

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve known Mrs. Wilson since she met me as a baby in church. She was a dear lady. A few months ago I ran into her at farmstead. She knew who I was. She will be missed.


  • To the entire family of such a faithful servant to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our prayers are with you. Although we did not know this beautiful woman, we did know one of her sons Mark and his family. What an inspiration Mark was to our family when for five years we had a vacation home in Hayward, Wisconsin and attended his church every summer. May God Himself give you comfort as you all grieve the loss of your mother.

  • Our family gives thanks to God for the life of Elsie Wilson. Elsie’s gentle smile radiated God’s love as you would approach and share the blessing of fellowship with this earthly saint. We would look forward to the visits from Andy, Elsie and Mark as they visited next door, their peace and love always present … like the song, “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love ..” in the case of the Wilson family, truer words never spoken. Our prayers continue for God’s peace and comfort Mark, Tim and all your family during this time. Irene, Dale and Gerene Cox.

  • On behalf of the entire staff, Board of Directors, and the many other devoted volunteers and supporters of Hospice of Morrow County, Inc., please accept our sincere sympathy. Elsie was very special to all of us, and, most importantly to her, she was a good and faithful servant of God. While we mourn her death, we rejoice in her everlasting life.
    Psalm 66 says, “Here now, all you who fear God, while I declare what He has done for me. Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or His kindness.” I sang this at church last weekend, with Elsie in my prayers. How I would have loved to have one more hymn -sing with her!
    May God continue to bless Elsie and give comfort to her devoted family through their grief.
    Julie Blankenship
    Executive Director
    Hospice of Morrow County, Inc.

  • Dearest Aunt Elsie, you will be missed by all that knew you. You were such an inspiration! You were an amazing Christian example to all that crossed your path. You made so many lives better for knowing you, all that you brought peace and love to as you read, sang to, or prayed with. I am better for knowing you and you have been a wonderful example to me in what a true Christian should be. I will forever love you and as we said the last time we talked – I will see you in heaven. Love you so much Aunt Elsie.

  • Elsie prayed for me everyday for years while I was a missionary in Guyana. What a wonderful Christian and a good friend.

  • Sending my sympathy to your family on the loss of your dear Mother. I have so many precious memories of the good times we had together. During VBS your Dad would play RedRover with us. I loved hearing your parents sing while your Mother played the guitar. I loved your Daddy’s preaching, I remember kneeling at the altar as a little girl giving my heart to the Lord. Their beautiful example of holiness has been a great influence in my life. I sent a card to your Mother at Easter telling her how much she meant to me, she sent me a lovely card thanking me and saying that she loved working for the Lord until He called her home. Little did we realize it would be soon. We as Christians have so much to look forward to. Heaven! Meeting our Saviour and our loved ones. May the Lord be with you during this time. Blessings! Nancy (Penn) Ellers.

  • So very sorry for this loss to the family and friends of this dear lady.
    My life was forever changed by the ministry and friendship of Bro. & Sis. Wilson
    during the 70’s and 80’s that they were my pastor.
    My memories of them both are so intertwined that’s it’s hard to separate them.
    I can’t think of one of them without thinking of the other.
    And now they are together, with their precious Savior who they served so faithfully.
    Looking forward to seeing them again one day.

    Kathy Wallace (Marcum)

  • Mark and family. WOW! Am amazing lady for sure. What she accomplished in her life makes me feel small indeed. Remember first time I met her asked what kind of pie I liked!!! She had already made seven that day already!!! Glad I got to meet her!! And her birthday in a good month!!! Saw ours two days apart in the same month! Knew I liked her much!!!!

  • My prayers and thoughts are with the family of Elsie
    Wilson. She is home now with the Father as her work on earth is done. What an inspiration to so many as the light of Jesus shined so brightly through her.
    She had an impact on my life as a new believer at Fargo in 1995, I looked to her as a spiritual mother and mentor. I kept every card and letter she sent me. May God comfort you all until you meet her again.

    Beverly Burkett
    South Carolina

  • The Wilson Family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of Mrs Wilson passing, she was a wonderful lady never knew a stranger and such a great christian. My parents were so fond of both your father and mother. There is such a loss in the community she will be deeply missed you have our deepest sympathies.
    Ron and Connie weikel

  • The Wilson Family,
    We are so sorry for the passing of mrs. Wilson,she was a wonderful lady .Never knew a stanger and a great Christ an lady. My parents were so fond of both your father and mother. There is such a loss in the community, she will be deeply missed.
    Your family haves our deepest sympathies
    Ron and Connie Weikel

  • Thoughts and prayers are extended to the Wilson family, to Steve and Sandy especially, from everyone at Oak Grove Baptist Church, Madisonville, Tennessee.

  • I met this woman thru my mother Susan Strawser when she did hospice work . The only person I could compare to my mom. A true angel on earth!

  • She will be greatly missed. Her and her husband were Grandpa and Grandma to so many even those who were not theirs by blood. I have so many memories and so wish I could be there today. We will see you again soon.

  • So sorry for your loss of one sweet angel – I know she is rejoicing at her new heavenly home. I did not remember that the Wilsons and Mom & Dad (Carl and Ruth Huff) went as far back as God’s Bible school but remember them being long time friends over the years. I know she will be missed greatly by so many people she has served.

  • So sorry for your loss, every time I saw her she was always with a smile or helping
    someone, a good christian lady
    Rick and Barbara Moore

  • Our family have such fond memories of Brother and Sister Wilson. I remember how kind they were to us kids. Brother Wilson would come to our home and talk with dad and dad would listen to him even though he wasn’t a Christian at the time. God Bless their memories. The Robinson kids love the Wilson family very much . We will always be so grateful for their kindness and love shown to us. Heaven is getting crowded now with all these wonderful saints. I can’t wait to join them one day. What a glad reunion day that will be. Thank you Jesus!