Carolyn Jean Jacobs Wilson
Jean Wilson of Charlotte died Monday, October 19, after 64 years of an extraordinary life, punctuated by moments that illustrate her strong character.
As a young child, she once locked her mother out of the house, then sat inside the back door eating chocolate cake, where her mother had a very good view, but could do nothing to stop her. She was a creative problem-solver.
As a high school graduate, she left her home state of Georgia behind to attend Furman University, a school with no family ties. She was independent.
As a young mother, she was known to occasionally serve popcorn for dinner. She was both frugal and a child’s best friend.
As a single parent, she maintained loving and inclusive relationships with her ex-husband’s family. She was open-hearted.
As a wife, she encouraged her husband to pursue his dreams: writing, returning to graduate school, and even going on a six-week, cross-country road trip with their daughter. She was infinitely supportive.
As a working mother, she modeled great balance of professional and family responsibilities, attending soccer games, girl scout outings, baseball games and every award ceremony. She was a cheerleader.
As a professional, she was trusted to oversee large-scale endeavors before ‘project manager’ was a title. She was reliable and organized.
As a mother to adult children, she was a confidant in matters of the heart and career. She was a valued adviser.
As a friend, she frequently threw elaborate dinner parties with attention to every detail from menus to place settings and flowers. She was a gracious hostess.
As an empty-nester, she undertook (with her husband) the overhaul of a house in need of much love and repair. She was a visionary.
As a soulmate, she arranged a surprise 25th anniversary trip, returning to the Algonquin Hotel in New York City where she and Deems had honeymooned decades before. She even managed to negotiate the 1979 room rate and a complimentary bottle of champagne, to boot. She was a romantic (and a skilled haggler).
As a grandmother, she eagerly contributed to camps, trips and school fundraisers, demonstrating her commitment to making others’ lives better. She was unreservedly generous.
Jean is survived by her husband of 35 years, Deems Wilson, of Charlotte, her children, Robin Johnston and her husband, Van Wilson, of Charlotte, Deems Wilson, Jr., of Chapel Hill and Catherine Wilson and her husband, John Eagan, of Los Angeles, her parents, N.A. and Carolyn Jacobs of Gainesville, Ga., her brothers, Greg Jacobs of Tampa, Fla., and Stephen Jacobs of Marietta, Ga., and her grandchildren, Ben and Jessie Wilson of Charlotte. As well as too many friends to count.
A memorial service will be held at Myers Park Baptist Church on Friday, October 23 at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow. Donations in Jean’s honor can be made to the Charlotte Symphony.