Roger Bernard Wilson, 86, passed away on February 5, 2021 in Hillcrest Hospital after a short illness. He was born April 19, 1934 in Drew, Mississippi to Roger O’Neal Wilson and Mittie Scott Wilson. Roger had four sisters and one brother.
The family will have a Celebration of Life for Roger on Saturday, April 10, 2021 from 1 PM to 3 PM at Woodway First United Methodist Church, 21000 Woodway Dr/Hwy 84. We ask all of Roger's friends to come and share a story about Roger as we celebrate a Life Well-Lived!
Roger was a high school football standout under the tutelage of Archie Manning, Jr. and was an All-State center in 1951 for his team in Drew. Roger’s family moved to central Texas during his senior year and he graduated from Waco High School. He volunteered for the Navy due to his brother’s influence and became the Admiral’s radioman, traveling with him everywhere the Admiral moved. During Hurricane Carla, as an amateur ham radio operator and Naval reservist, he was asked by the Navy to assist with emergency communication receiving a special commendation by the Rear Admiral for his work during this natural disaster.
Roger met Lila LoeNell Dugger in 1953 after being set up on a blind date while he was living in Copperas Cove. They married in October 1954. He put himself through the University of Texas working as a barber and photographer. The couple moved to Waco, had two children, Sherry and Scott, and he began his banking career working for Pioneer Savings and Loan in downtown Waco. Roger was a loan officer, VA property inspector, real estate appraiser and Realtor.
He left Pioneer and embarked on his journey as a real estate broker, homebuilder, real estate appraiser, property inspector, real estate developer and an otherwise maverick entrepreneur. Roger helped develop Hewitt, Texas from a small town of approximately 500 residents accessed by a 2-lane gravel road from Woodway to a place that thousands wanted to live. He put in the first subdivision, built the first duplexes, built City Hall, the first shopping center and brought the IGA grocery store to Hewitt. He was asked by Dee Smith to run for mayor of Hewitt which he respectfully declined due to having too much going on running one of the largest real estate brokerages in Waco at the time. He was later asked to run for mayor of Waco as well but declined that as well due to the same reason. Roger helped many start a rewarding career in real estate especially teachers and housewives as he taught the first real estate courses at MCC.
In the late 1970’s, he started a rural water company and “accidently” discovered oil while drilling the first well to service the water needs of those off Speegleville Rd. Although his oil discovery was not completely new to those in the know, it became a lifelong hobby and obsession of his. He studied well logs, production records and tried to maximize output from a small number of minimally producing but profitable oil wells.
He truly enjoyed seeing other people succeed and would be the first to extend a hand to those in need. He was a proud Shriner, Mason and Lion. He was past president of the Heart of Texas Builders Association, the Texas Association of Builders, the Waco Association of Realtors, the Heart of Texas Apartment Association and was active in the National Association of Home Builders.
Roger and LoeNell taught many couples ballroom dancing. He was an avid sportsman and was fond of fishing and black powder elk hunting especially in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. He loved raising horses, traveling around the world and truly enjoyed living life to the fullest.
He is survived by wife, LoeNell, daughter, Sherry and son, Scott (Anna), granddaughter Emma JoNell and grandson Samuel Bernard. He is also survived by his sister Neal Wiese.