Michael 'Mike' Wilson loved family, friends and football

Thursday, July 3, 2014 | 9:38 p.m. CDT; updated 10:09 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2014

COLUMBIA — In addition to six nieces and nephews and three grandnieces and grandnephews, practically any young person who knew Michael Wilson referred to him as “Uncle Mike”

“Even to the friends of my grandchildren, he was Uncle Mike,” said his mother, Louise Wilson of Shelbyville. “He was always Uncle Mike to everyone.”

Michael Wayne Wilson of Columbia died Wednesday, July 2, 2014. He was 41.

He was born Oct. 18, 1972, in Hannibal to Paul Edward and Louise (Jones) Wilson.

Mr. Wilson graduated from North Shelby High School in 1991 and graduated from MU with a bachelor of science. He was a claims representative for State Farm Insurance in Columbia. He enjoyed his time as a Shelbyville Moonshiner, a community service club.

Family, friends and football were the joys of Mr. Wilson’s life. A diehard MU fan and frequent tailgater, he would only consider missing a Tiger football game on account of work.

“He loved his nieces and nephews, and he was a true MU fan,” Louise Wilson said. “He loved to go to football games. His nephew, David Holland, was a senior. If he did something wrong, he could get Uncle Mike to say, ‘You should have done so and so.’”

Mr. Wilson had been around football for a long time. A four-year varsity center at North Shelby, he was as good-natured in pads and helmet as he was anywhere else.

Louise Wilson and her daughter, Diana McCartney, were vocal fans at Mr. Wilson's high school games. Louise Wilson remembers one particularly memorable example of Wilson’s pleasant attitude on the field during his sophomore year.

“This little kid came out,” she said. “He took one look at Mike and said ‘Oh, no.’”

Laughing gently, she continued, “Mike said, ‘Don’t worry, little guy, I’m not going to hurt you. I’m just going to push you out the way.’”

This reassurance must have been comforting to Mr. Wilson’s gridiron adversary. The former lineman was “a big boy” and hard to miss, Louise Wilson said.

Mr. Wilson proceeded to placate his opponent by telling him the proper way to tackle a big guy: hit him around the knees and hold on for dear life.

“Two plays later, he got him,” Louise Wilson said. “(Then) Mike said, “Seems like you learned a little too fast, son.’ His coach was yelling at him, ‘What are you doing out there, Michael? Are you training that kid?’”

She sighed, and went on, “I know we’re going to miss him terribly.”

Mr. Wilson is survived by his mother, Louise, of Shelbyville; a sister, Diana McCartney and her husband, Patrick, of Ashland; a brother, Robert, and his wife, Kristin, of Cadiz, Ky.; six nieces and nephews, Brandy Clark, Katy Reeder, Dustin Latchford, David Holland, Dannar Wilson and Bailey Wilson; one great-niece and two great-nephews; and an uncle, Jim Wilson, and his wife, Glenna.

His father, Paul Edward Wilson; paternal grandparents, Luther and Goldie Wilson; and maternal grandparents, William Henry and Ruth Jones, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home, 401 S. Center St., Shelbina. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the same location. Burial will follow at the Mt. Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Shelbyville.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Mike Wilson Memorial Scholarship, in care of Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home, 401 S. Center St., Shelbina, MO 63468.

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