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Johnnie Louise Wilson

Johnnie Louise Wilson, 88, Crystal Springs, died Feb. 27, 2020 at home. Mrs. Wilson was born June 11, 1931 in McComb to John H. Thornton and Lillie Hart Thornton. She lived a full life where she made an enormous impact on many people, young and old. She began playing softball for the Crystal Springs Shirt Factory and from then on she began coaching her girls, their friends and other young girls from Crystal Springs with many sponsors from Crystal Springs. She coached the First Baptist Church Women’s Softball Team where she and her family were members and that women’s team brought home the State Championship Church trophy and presented it to Brother Estus Mason. There was nothing more that she loved than the girls whom she coached and the sport where she excelled in pitching. In softball, she traveled all over the United States playing in tournaments including, later in life, the Senior Olympics where she played with Mississippi teams as well as Louisiana teams. After softball, she never let “moss settle under her feet.” She began playing volleyball, pickleball, and, then, at the age of 72 she began playing tennis which was her second loved sport behind softball. She met many lifelong friends from tennis and she loved the game and the camaraderie that tennis brought. Although she was an avid sports fanatic, she also loved her family deeply. She loved her husband and her five daughters fiercely and they were always her number one concern. While her daughters were the most important in her life, her daughters’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren were also her strength and her source of love and compassion later in life. Mrs. Wilson was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Harlan Wayne Thornton. Stringer Family Funeral Services in Crystal Springs handled arrangements. Survivors are her husband of 69 years, Edgar Ray Wilson; daughters, Patricia Wilson McFarland (Mark) of Meadville, Deborah Wilson Norwood (Robert) of Hazlehurst, Elizabeth Wilson Rials of Crystal Springs, Connie Rhea Wilson of Crystal Springs, and Lisa Wilson May (Gary) of Crystal Springs; brother, Odis Willard “Sam” Thornton of Brantley, Ala.; 11 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

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