Esther Secor Wilson died at home July 8, 2022. She was born in rural Marshall County, Iowa on June 6, 1926 to Wilbur E. And Lois (Gray) Secor. She attended country school, Melbourne High School, and Iowa State University, graduating with a degree in home economics in 1947. She married Myron (Mike) Wilson on August 5, 1950. They spent most of their married lives in Cedar Rapids with two intervals in Dallas, Texas.
She is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Marion Walker. She is survived by her husband and children: M Frank (Jody) Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Eric (Ann) Wilson of Austin, Texas, Joyce (Jim) Barrett of Columbus, Ohio, and Rebecca (Ron) Dreasher of Longmont, Colorado. Grandchildren: Sven (Stephanie) Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Olaf (Eleanor) Wilson of Lagrange, IL., Sarah (Brian) Hendricks of New York City, Thomas Barrett of Virginia Beach, VA, Michael Barrett of Columbus, OH, Grant Dreasher and Elaine Dreasher of Longmont, CO. Great grandchildren: Cyrus Wilson and Camille Wilson of Cedar Rapids, and Ben Hendricks of New York City. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
While a girl, her double cousins lived on adjoining farmland. She maintained close ties to her family by attending and hosting annual Secor-Gray family reunions.
She had a strong commitment in giving back to the community, both through generous philanthropy and volunteering and has been recognized for her service and citizenship by several organizations. She was recognized with the United Way of East Central Iowa Community Philanthropist award in 2009, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Individual Philanthropist award in 2011, the Five Seasons Citizenship Award in 2016, and Linn County Trails Association Emeritus Board member in 2020 (one of four).
She particularly enjoyed attending and supporting Orchestra Iowa, Cedar Rapids Opera, Theater Cedar Rapids, Brucemore, Indian Creek Nature Center, Hoover Presidential Library, and the Willis Dady Shelter. Those close to her realize her ability to be so generous was made possible largely through her relentless discipline in personal finance.
Her children will remember her personal attentiveness to the pursuits of each individual, be they sports, music or other. After the kids were grown, she enjoyed walking and running in the Senior Olympics, working out at the Y, crosswords, and baking bread. We all enjoyed her quirky achievements as well, such as earning an Honorable Mention in a Philadelphia Enquirer Cheapskate Competition.
For many years she found satisfaction in tutoring for GED students and helping other seniors with their finances. She found particular delight in walking a mile to Erskine Elementary where she served as a math tutor for 4th graders.
She was a member of First Congregational Church since 1952.
Memorials may be directed to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, 324 3rd ST SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.
A visitation will be held 4 to 7 pm, on Wednesday July 20, 2022, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, IA. Burial will be in the Wilson family plot in Newcomerstown Ohio at a later date.