Obituary – Robert Keith “Bob” Wilson

Published 1:06 pm Monday, February 4, 2019

Robert Keith “Bob” Wilson, 86, died Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, at the Mississippi State Veteran Affairs Home in Oxford, Mississippi. The funeral service will be Tuesday, Feb, 5, 2019, at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Bro. Tommy Inmon officiating.  Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Visitation was on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in West Hall at Waller Funeral Home.

 A native of Oxford, he graduated from University High School and The University of Mississippi. He was a member of First Baptist Church and was a Mason.  Bob was a true Oxonian.  His first job was at Belk’s Grocery on the corner of the square and South Lamar at 8 years old.  At 11, he went to work for Tom Mistilis at his restaurant in what is now The Thompson House on the square- then, The Colonial Hotel.  He worked for Mr. Mistilis from 1943 until 1955 when he graduated from Ole Miss.  Part time jobs were working for the City of Oxford painting fire hydrants and, as a teenager, driving the street washer every night (until the summer of 1951) and working for R.O. Waller Grocery as a butcher on the square. After graduation, he served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. After serving, he was employed by a Defense Department contractor, Vitro Services Corporation, out of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.  Here he served in many positions, notably as Mission Controller at NASA Tracking Station #17.  During this time, he married his high school sweetheart, Joanna Hawkins.  He retired from Vitro as the Human Resources Director before returning to Oxford and entering the furniture business where he served in many companies until retiring in 2000.  He left the family home on North Lamar to build his retirement home on the farm that now has served 5 generations of Wilsons.

 He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Joanna Hawkins Wilson; his parents, Raymond Wilson and Annie Leslie Beard; his only brother, Earl R. Wilson, and a granddaughter, Annie-Leslie E. Cain.

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 Survivors include a daughter, Maudann Wilson Phillips, of Oxford; a granddaughter, Addison Wilson Tharpe and her husband, Justin, of Oxford; nieces, Ann Holifield of Madison, Mississippi, Virginia Mounger of Jackson, Mississippi,  and Amy Wilson of Nashville, Tennessee; many close friends in Oxford including Angelo Mistilis and Lindsey Hill and some very dear and close friends, Myrte and Bill Marler of Destin, Florida where Bob lived for many years.

 Memorial contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to Wilson Research Foundation, Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center, 1350 East Woodrow Wilson Blvd., Jackson, MS 39216-9919.

 In honor of Mr. Wilson’s service to his country, the flag of the United States Air Force will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.

 For further information or to leave an online condolence, please call 662.234.7971 or visit