Elsie Venena Wilson
September 22, 1922 ‒ May 27, 2017
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 .