We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Croxford Funeral Home
Walter Junior Wilson (Whitey) was born November 5, 1932 to Walter and Pearl Wilson in Choteau, Mt. He was #6 of 9 siblings. He grew up in the Choteau, Augusta, and Simms areas. He joined the Navy and served in the Korean conflict. After Korea he was stationed on ships in the Bikini Islands where he witnessed the first hydrogen bomb blast. He was exposed to many times the safe exposure of radiation, which plagued him most of his life. Following his discharge from the navy, he worked various construction jobs in the Choteau area. He married his sweetheart Gwenlyn Thompson on June 3, 1956. They made Choteau their home. There they began raising their sons Randy and Bob. For a period of time, they ran Whitey’s Exxon service station. Next stop for the family was the Lincoln area. Here Whitey worked with his sons in the timber industry and at the Bouma Post Yard. Following an accident that nearly claimed his left hand, he ran a trailer court. Later, he sold the trailer court, and started West Slope Consignment and Tractor sales. His passion was rebuilding small tractors – primarily 8N and 9NFords. He enjoyed big game hunting with his sons, brothers, and nephews.
After many seasons of braving the cold and snow, they decided to move out of the mountains. They relocated to a small farm east of Simms. Here, he continued his tractor business and enjoyed raising animals. In 2005, The Lord called his love Gwen home.
After a period of time, he married his current wife Lavera (Kathy). They adopted a baby boy and named him Shane. Whitey was also the biological father of Jerry L. Emerson Sr. He got a kick out of telling everyone that there was 60 years and 1 day between his oldest and youngest son.
His health continued to decline due to the radiation and was in constant pain. He also suffered from PTSD. He was granted a 100% disability from the VA. He spent most of his time watching old westerns, gold mining, and the Shepherd’s Chapel on TV, but so wanted to go out and work on his old cars. The Lord ended all of this pain when he called him home, early in the morning on May 26, 2022 at the age of 89 years, 6 months, 21 days.
He is survived by his wife Lavera: sons Jerry, Randy, Bob, and Shane: brother Donald: 5 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Walter and Pearl Wilson, wife Gwenlyn, brothers Luddy, Vernon, Harold, and Richard. Sisters Myrtle Wilson, Margret Groot, and Mable Webster; and granddaughter Tammy Emerson Hill.
A graveside memorial service with military honors will be held at the Sun River Cemetery at 11:00 am on Saturday August 6, 2022. A luncheon will follow at the VFW Servicemen’s Club in Fairfield, where Whitey was a lifetime member.