Francis Marion (F.M.) Wilson, M.D.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 12, 1921-December 11, 2015

Francis Marion Wilson, M.D.

Mangrum, Upper Mangrum, Middle Mangrum, Mangrum Settlement, Black Oak, Caraway - that's the area where Jonesboro physician Francis Marion (F.M.) Wilson, M.D. was born, grew up and attended school. It was there that he spent his boyhood years and where he considered a career in medicine. F.M., as he was affectionately called, passed from this life on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, the day before his 94th birthday in Jonesboro. He was surrounded by family and friends.

F.M. was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Searcy and Maude Alma Byrd Wilson; his brother, Everette (Bud) Wilson; sisters, Lillian (Sis) Wilson, Josephine Mueller, Beatrice (Bea) Ward and Lorene Pyle.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Ann Willard Wilson of the home; his sister, Laverne (Toots) McGowan, Bernie, Mo.; children, Carl (Dottie) Wilson, Oklahoma City, Okla., Gary (Maureen) Wilson, Fort Myers, Fla., Dana (Rick) Stearns, Little Rock, Paul (Jeanise) Irby, Cookeville, Tenn., Rachel (Steve) McDonald, Destin, Fla., Leland (Cheryl) Irby, Little Rock, Mary (Terrell) Carr, Bono; 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Dr. Wilson graduated in 1940 from Central High School, Caraway. Afterward he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, doing conservation work for six months. While working with the CCC, he helped set up a hospital in San Francisco. He served as a medical corpsman in the United States Navy during World War II. It was there that he was encouraged to become a doctor by Dr. Taylor, a Navy physician. In 1948 he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University). He taught chemistry and physics at Paragould High School before entering medical school. Then in 1953 he received his medical degree from the University of Arkansas Medical School. He practiced general medicine at Cotton Plant, Ark., for a couple of years before entering surgery residency at a United Mine Workers hospital in Whitesburg, Ky. After three years of residency, Wilson spent two years in surgery at a Veterans Administration hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1965 he moved to Jonesboro and went into single practice as a general surgeon, which he continued until his retirement in 1996. He was a member of the Southwest Church of Christ.

Dr. Wilson had a special place in his heart for his alma mater, Arkansas State University. He served as Team Physician for 15 years, earning the status of Team Physician Emeritus, and served as campus physician in the Wilson Student Health Center until his retirement. He served many years as president of the Fast Break Club and served as president of the Indian Club. He was inducted into the ASU Hall of Honor and was named among the Most Distinguished Alumni in 2009. He was most proud of the nearly 50 members in his family that have attended Arkansas State University.

F.M. loved so many things in life. Whatever he became involved with, he gave 100 percent of himself. He loved baseball, softball, basketball, football, golf.... really all sports!! He loved music, especially from the Big Band era. He and Dorothy were members of Jonesboro's Saturday Night Dance Club for many years. He could cut a rug! Through the years, he encouraged many young people to develop their talents and abilities. He had a wonderful sense of humor as well as a very serious side. He participated in Senior Olympics for several years and was an active participant of the American Legion

Post 21 Softball League. He was also very active in the Jonesboro Exchange Club.

We all loved him and will miss him greatly.

Visitation was held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro. Funeral Services were held at 10 a.m. Monday at Emerson Memorial Chapel with Jimmy Adcox officiating. Burial will follow in Jonesboro Memorial Park.

Active pallbearers included Dr. John Everette Wilson, Morgan Wilson, Lewis Wilson, Reid Wilson, Adam Sartin, David Carr, Michael Carr and TC Shelton. Honorary pallbearers included the ASU Lady Red Wolves Basketball Team (past and present players).

The family encourages donations to the Linnie Wisdom-Maude Wilson Honors Scholarship at Arkansas State University. Excerpts for this obituary were taken from an article written by Curt Hodges for the Jonesboro Sun approximately four years ago.

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