James Michael (Mike) Wilson, loving husband, father, and Papa, passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021, at the age of 77 at his home in West Monroe surrounded by his loving family.
Mike was born on April 5th, 1944, in Macon, MO. He grew up in Monroe on Pargoud Boulevard and made many lifelong friends along this street. Mike attended Neville High School where he ran track and played football for some of the most legendary coaches in Louisiana history. He graduated from Northeast Louisiana University with a Business degree in 1967. While at NLU, Mike was a member of the track team where his mile relay team’s time held the school’s top 5 record for many years.
He married the love of his life Brenda, his Rodeo Queen, who together, made a lifetime of happy memories.
Mike and Brenda established their home in West Monroe with their 2 daughters, Wendy and Christie. Although reluctant at first, he grew to love the West Monroe Rebels where his daughters went to school. He learned to love the Rebels and take punches from his Neville Tiger friends who thought he betrayed the Black and Gold. Mike had the unique ability to make friends on both sides of the river despite the rivalries.
He was a 1st Lieutenant in United States Army and served our great country in Vietnam. Patriotism was very important to him, and he instilled those values to his family and others. Respecting the military, American flag, and National Anthem, were required in his presence.
Mike was the owner and operator of West Monroe Livestock Auction along with his family until it was sold in 2014. Saturday auctions at the sale barn were known by most everyone in the community and where most young men were hired for their first jobs. He was a proud member of the National Cattleman’s Association, Louisiana Cattleman’s Association, and the Ouachita Parish Cattleman’s Association. He often said what he missed most after his retirement was seeing all his sale barn friends.
Throughout his life, he had a passion for watching his daughters play softball for West Monroe High School and Louisiana Tech University where he and Brenda made lasting friendships and quickly became the foster parents to many out-of-state players. He fed and entertained the Lady Techster softball team from 1992 – 1998. He loved to have a house full of kids; no one was every turned away from the Wilson home and often every bed and couch in the house was occupied.
He loved taking his friends to the Wilson family farm in Moberly, MO every year where he hosted many hunting trips that resulted in great memories for all who came. Mike mostly enjoyed cooking for his guests at the farm where no one left hungry from “Da Shak.” He was known for his infectious smile, loving heart, quick wit, and fun spirit.
Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Clay and Juanita Wilson; brother, Patrick Wilson. Mother-in-law and father-in-law, Jewel Bernice and Raymond Jowers.
Mike is survived by his devoted wife of almost 48 years, Brenda Jowers Wilson, who never left his side during his lengthy illness; his two daughters, Wendy Wilson Costello and husband Paul; and Christie Wilson Murry and husband Scott; grandchildren, Bodie Costello, Bella Costello, Emma Murry, Abby Murry; Jordyn Murry and fiancé Josh Carlson; Logan Murry and wife Kayla; and Regan Murry. Sisters-in-law, Linda Robertson and husband Todd; Debbie Jones and late husband Duane; DeeDee Reynolds. Brother-in-law, David Jowers and wife Angela; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services celebrating Mike’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Friday July 16, 2021, in Feazel Chapel of First Baptist Church in West Monroe, LA, with Dr. Mark Fenn and Rev. Michael Wood officiating. His wishes were to be cremated and laid to rest by his parents in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home in West Monroe, LA. Visitation will be held from 12:00 Noon until service time on Friday at the church.
Pallbearers will be Bodie Costello, Paul Costello, Randall Robertson, Tucker Jefferson, David Jowers, Tommie Mims, Scott Murry, and Steve Titus.
Honorary pallbearers will be Todd Robertson, Dr. Larry Barr, Macky Brister, Bunzy Bryant Hardeman Cordell, J.D. Greco, Steve Jefferson, Tom King, John Rea, Rock Smith, Bobby Titus, and Corbin Turpin.
Memorials can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, or the Louisiana Veterans Home.
Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com