Dr. Howard L. Wilson (Retired Lt. Col.)
NOMINATION TO THE COLUMBUS HALL OF FAME
I will nominate Dr. Howard & Serena M. Wilson for the
City of Columbus, Ohio Hall of Fame Spring 2016.
I am asking friends, co-works & family to write me a note with a something you learned from either of them, funny story, a fond memory or what ever you want to say.
I am putting the notes in two books
For my father: "Son of a Coal Miner & West Virginia Pioneers"
For my Mother: "Serena Wilson's Golden Legacy"
Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Mentor
April 12, 1933 to June 1, 2013
"Together Again Celebration of Life"
was June 15, 2013 10:00 am at
Bethel Temple Ministries Pastor Dane Clark,
2840 Lockbourne Rd Columbus OH 43207
Born April 12, 1933 to Louise & Thomas J. Wilson in Bramwell, West Virginia. In high school, he excelled in sports.
He played 13 different instruments and was the concert and
marching band director. He played both football and directed
the marching band during the football game’s half-times.
Howard Lee was one of four teenagers selected to play for the
WV/VA Baseball League and was awarded the Babe Ruth Foundation
Award for excelling in 3 different major sports.
He was salutatorian of Bluestone HS Class of 1951.
Howard pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at
Tau Chapter of WVSC.
He participated in ROTC and graduated from WVSC with a
BA in Music and was lead in the ROTC Choir under the
direction Prince Amhed Williams.
He was commissioned as a Lieutinant in the US Army and going to Baumholder, West Germany as his first assignment.
He married Serena M. Strother after a 3 year courtship.
He and his wife Serena (Strother) Wilson were happily
married May 28th, 1955 at the
Christ the King Catholic Church in Dunbar, WV.
The bride was given away by the president of WVSC,
Dr. Wallace & Serena’s older half-brother * Fred Strother,
witnessed by the Wilson family and all their collegiate friends.
* (In 2010 confirmed by U.S. Census Fred was her nephew)
He received his Masters Degree when he was stationed
in KY and his honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from
West Virginia State University after he assisted in changing
the WVS College to a WCS University.
He was the 1st National President of WVSU Alumni Association.
Their children are daughters Maria Denese Wilson-Tate,
Teresa & husband Calvin G. Kemp, Jr.,
Jasmine adopted daughter (great granddaughter)
and their late son Howard Anthony Wilson.
The grandchildren are the late Angel Coleman, Stephen
& wife La Toya Wilson, Tanisha Thomas, Calvin H. Kemp,
Kir Kemp Whatley, Amber Wilson, Natasha Wilson Sullivan.
Howard & Serena’s great grand children are Jamel Thomas
Joyce, Odell, Anthony, Keante, Stephen Howard Wilson Jr.,
Trey Yates, Daniel Tyler Wilson, Brandon Black, James Antley.
Ret. US Army Lt. Col., he served in Korea, Germany, Vietnam & USA.
His decorations include Meritorious Service, Bronze Star,
Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters &
Gallantry Cross Medal with Palms to name a few.
After serving 20 years, he retired, moved to Columbus, OH
& worked 20 years for the Department of Public Safety as
Deputy Safety Director where he supervised the Administration
Operations of the Divisions of Police and Fire Departments
for the City of Columbus, OH.
Howard, Serena & Teresa Kemp (their daughter), were
co-owners of Plantation Quilts & Gifts. Together they
did exhibitions, historic presentations, and preservation
work of the families European, African, Gullah-Geechee
& Appalachian nationwide cultural contributions.
Teresa continues exhibiting the family legacy.
Member of the Path Ministry, Silver Honoree Club WVSU,
inducted in the WVSC ROTC Hall of Fame in 1984,
Life member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,
Kappa Alpha Psi Columbus Alumni Chapter,
WVSU Tau Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi,
Airport Golf Course Rainmaker Golf Club,
NAACP, Liberty High School Alumni Assoc.,
Inducted in WV Black High School Hall of Fame,
WVSU State University Foundation Board
Honorary Director (Retired),
2005 WVSU Alumnus of the Year
In Lieu of Flowers
Send donations to Wilson Jefferson Scholarship Fund
WVSU Foundation Inc.
200 Erickson Alumni Center
P.O. Box 1000 Institute, WV 25112
Kappa Alpha Psi
Kenneth Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 151232 Columbus, Ohio 43215
Link for more information:
Memorial Photos on Face Book: UGRR Secret Quilt Museum
David Richardson Strother b. 1814 - d. 1870
When the Strother family had a reunion in Edgefield, SC the
Serena heard stories about David and his granddaughter
Sallie Strother (DAR Historian) married a Hollingsworth.
Every Saturday Milton, Serena's dad, took Sallie ice cream
he would purchase (from the White only store).
My mother said the store owner would say
"Mr. Strother you know you can't bring those little
colored chillin in here! He would say,
"Hush now and get thier ice cream" And he did.
Sallies granddaughter, Lynn Booram (Edgefield Historian)
did a great presentation at the Family Reunion in Edgefield, SC and when asked how she knew so much about our family...
She replied "I'm your cousin Lynn!"
Everyone laughed and and my mother ran to give her a hug.
Serena wrote several articles that were
published about her ancesters in
America, as Glynn County, GA slaves,
Peter and Eliza Farrow, formerly Igbo
and Eliza from Dahomey, were called
the Gullah-Geechee people.
They purchased their freedom following
the death of their second owner and worked
as abolitionist via the Underground Railroad.
Serena (Strother) Wilson
March 18, 1934 - Feburary 9, 2012
Wife, Mother, Quilter, Historian, Griot, Researcher
Serena was born to Milton J. Strother & Mary Eva (McDaniel)
Strother in Edgefield, South Carolina.
She was one of Milton's 17 children by 2 wives.
With Martha Pixley, Milton Stother had 11 of the children,
9 of them were born before 1900.
In 1929, when Martha died,
he married Mary Eva McDaniel & had 4 children,
Viola, Serena, Benjamin, William (Lammy) Strother.
Serena spent her formative years in Edgefield, SC, visiting her grandpartents Nora & William McDaniel in McCormick, SC. She went by bus to Philadelphia, PA and lived with Mr. Gavazie & Mrs. Sarah (Greene) Quatlebaum (her sister), shown below.
She graduated from Liberty High School in Williamson, WV.
where Fred & Serena Strother raised her until she left to attend
West Virginia State College in Institute, WV.
In 1953, Serena attended West Virgina State College in Institute, WV
where she pledged AKA sorority as her sisters did before her.
While at West Virginia State College
(from 1952-1955) She met the love of her life,
Howare Lee Wilson of Bramwell, WV.
Below Serena was Ms. ROTC. while at WVSC
Serena was courted by Howard a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and after three years, they were married
on May 28th, 1955 in Dunbur, WV.
It was prior to him being commissioned as a new Lieutinant in the US Army and going to Baumholder, West Germany, his first assignment.
She later graduated from Bluefield State College
in Bluefield, WV in June of 1968 with a
BS Degree in Elementary Education.
She returned to Germany with her husband and 3 children,
Maria Denese, Teresa Renee and Howard Anthony.
Her aunt Ozella McDaniel Williams made several trips to Germany
to make sure that Serena knew and was teaching the family
legacy and traditions to her three children.
She toured museums, cathedrals and historical sites
interpreting them from her unique point of view.
Sarah also visited the family in Germany and sent gifts she had sewn while working for the Singer Sewing Machine
Company in Philadelphia, PA.
She pointed out slave built structures not just
African Slaves but all nationalities of people including
Jews brought to Rome, Italy from Isreal. She pointed out relavent
artifacts, documents, resources exploited and
building techniques, stolen from Africa.
Serena completed a Master's Degree from Wayne State University
in Detroit, MI in 1973 in Psychology and Guidance
(distant learning program).
With a passion and love for education, she taught, in
European/American schools more than 40 years.
Completing more than 60 hours of graduate work in
the School of Administration and Special Education at
the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
Serena continued taking courses to better
document her family's UGRR legacy.
Serena and Howard sponsored and became God
Parents to three students from Obika family of the
Igbo Group in Nigeria, Africa and countless other
youth that are now great world citizens.
Serena teaching the teachers in Ghana, West Africa
below on research trip.
After retiring from the Columbus Board of Education in 2000,
she continued being a faithful member of many organizations
and her passion for history research and quilting.
Serena was co-owner and CEO of the Plantation Quilts & Gifts.
As a family, they have conducted programs and workshops
telling how the Farrow-McDaniel Quilt Code, handed down
through her family, helped enslaved people
escape from Southern plantations.
Since starting the lectures in 1970's, they have conducted over
4,000 programs in colleges, universities, libraries, historical societies,
quilting groups, NPS sites and private and governmental
organizations throughout the United States.
Serena's paternal grandfather David Richardson Strother's
had Rockhill Plantation the highest grossing in SC 1850-1960.
David Strother (1814-1870)
When the family had a reunion in Edgefield, SC the
family heard stories about David and his granddaughter
Sallie Strother (DAR Historian) married a Hollingsworth.
Her granddaughter Lynn Booram (Edgefield Historian)
did a great presentation at the Family Reunion and when
asked how she knew so much about our family...
She replied "I;m your cousin Lynn!" Everyone laughed and hugged.
In 2005, she opened the UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum Exhibit in Atlanta, GA with Howard and her daughter, Teresa Kemp.
She continues doing the UGRR Secret Quilt Code
Museum Traveling Exhibits and lectures.
Serena wrote several articles that were published
about her ancesters in America, as Glynn County,
GA slaves, Peter and Eliza Farrow, formerly Igbo and Eliza from Dahomey, were called the Gullah-Geechee people.
They purchased their freedom following the death of their second owner and worked as abolitionist via the Underground Railroad.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Golden Soror,
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Bluefield State College, Columbus Kappa Alpha Psi Silhouettes,
Drayton Hall Historic Society, Friends of Freedom,
Edgefield Historic Society, Liberty High School, OSU Alumni Association, Martin Luther King Center, Morgan State University, National UGRR Freedom Center Life Member, National NAACP, Quilter’s For Christ, Perish House Quilters, OSU Penn Women,
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Wayne State University Alumni Association, WVSU Alumni Association,
Inductee West Virginia High School Hall of Fame
Serena's name is on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, AL.
Dont forget the
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
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