Plantation Quilts & Gifts TM

Dr. Howard L. Wilson (Retired Lt. Col.)

Mrs. Serena M. Strother Wilson

      Dr. Howard L. Wilson (Retired Lt. Col.)


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"


Dr. Howard Lee Wilson (Ret. Lt. Col,

 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.

Lt. Howard L. Wilson US Army was inducted into the WVSU ROTC Hall of Fame

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.

Howard Wilson former WVSU Alumni Association President with wife Serena at his side.  

Their children are daughters Maria Denese Wilson-Tate, 

Howard Wilson with daughter, Dense Wilson Tate & Serena Wilson at WVSU
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


Serena & Howard Wilson of Columbus, Ohio


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. 

The Secret Quilt Code, articles written by Serena Strother Wilson.

They purchased their freedom following 
the death of their second owner and worked 
as abolitionist via the Underground Railroad.

Serena Strother Wilson in front of quilt she made to teach the UGRR Secret Quilt Code, her families legacy. She was the 4th generation quilter of the Farrow McDaniel's family.







Selected as an Art History Maker there are five hours of Video recordings done by Serena Wilson you can access on-line.


  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.

 Martha Pixley Strother, Milton Strother's first wife, mother of 11 children lived in Edgefield, SC' s Promised Land

In 1929, when Martha died,
he married Mary Eva McDaniel & had 4 children,
Viola, Serena, Benjamin, William (Lammy) Strother.

Mary Eva Strother holding baby Benjamin, with Doll (Serena) & Viola (Geneva) on the right and Mary's younger sister Catherine McDaniel on the left.

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.

Mrs/ Sarah (Green-Strother) Quattlebaum & her sister Serena Strother on the stoop in Philadelphia, PA. Sarah worked sewing for the Singer Sewing Company and polished Serena's Sewing skills and sent her to Catholic School.

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.

Serena Strother at West Virginia State College in Institute West Virginia  1953-1956

   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

 West Virginia State College Ms. ROTC,  Serena Strother (far right) with her college roommate & her boyfriend (far left) at the the ROTC Ball.

 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.

Mrs. Serena Strother Wilson in Baumholder West Germany with her daughter Maria Wilson.

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.  

Ozella made several trips to Europe and visited Teresa and family to ensure we knew our culture and family legacy.

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.

Serena with teachers in Ghana, West Africa on a 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.

Dr. Chinny OObika-Orebu of Scotland & Serena Wilson in Columbus, OH

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.

Cousin Lynn Strother Booram & Serena Strother Wilson in the Family home in Edgefield, SC

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.

Dr. & Mrs Howard and Serena Wilson

Dont forget the

"Golden Rule"

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

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