Andrew Wilson, age 98, died peacefully at his Port Isabel residence after battling various illnesses associated with old age. Andrew was born in Norville, Michigan. His father, a railroad man, moved the family around until they settled in Trenton, MI. Andrew graduated from high school at age 16. Eventually he found work at Great Lakes Steel and became a proud member of the United Steel Workers local 1299. With war clouds looming, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1940. Then, he married his long time sweetheart Mary F. Smigiel. Late in the war, he was sent to serve with the 20th Air Force on the island of Guam. In 1945, Andrew was honorably discharged at the rank of Tech Sergeant.
Andrew returned to Michigan to work and raise his family. The Great Lakes Steel Corporation appreciated his mechanical and labor relations skills and promoted him to foreman. He kept this position until he retired in the 1970’s. In 1980 Andrew and his family moved to Port Isabel. Parrish priest Father Ben was the first of several P.I. residents to value his quick wit and problem solving skills. Andrew’s home became a refuge for numerous stray dogs and cats. Because he grew up during the depression, Andrew never forgot what is was like to be a have-not.
Andrew Wilson was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years – Mary Frances.
He is survived by his four sons. The eldest, Jeff lives in Port Isabel. He is a retired accountant, Vietnam veteran, and lifetime member of the V.F.W. Steve lives in Flagstaff AZ with his wife Terri. He is a licensed pharmacist and Captain in the Public Health Services. John is a computer programmer who works and lives in Michigan. Chris was a Navy Corpsman who saw action in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He later became a high school science teacher, assistant Wrestling coach and referee in the Rio Grande City area until he retired this year. Andrew has two grandsons, Eric and Sean. They are college students in AZ.
Those who knew Andrew would tell you how much he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping. He was also an exceptional athlete in high school and in the Army. He told us about the time he stopped at a Canadian restaurant. When he went into the washroom, he met two lumberjacks. They saw his big muscles and began to talk to him as though he was a fellow lumberjack. Andrew was both amused and flattered.
One mark of a person’s life is the memoires he leaves behind or his family and friends.
Visitation will be held Monday, October 26, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a rosary at 6:00 p.m. at Thomae Garza Funeral Home, San Benito, Texas.
Funeral mass will be held 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 27. 2015 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 705 S Longoria St, Port Isabel, TX, 78578 Interment will follow at Port Isabel City Cemetery
You may sign the online guestbook and send words of comfort or sympathy cards to the family of Andrew Wilson at: www.thomaegarza.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the care of Thomae-Garza Funeral Directors, 395 S. Sam Houston, San Benito, Texas, (956) 399-1331.