March 4, 2010
REVEREND BENNIE JEROME WILSEY
(6/28/1935 – 2/19/2010)
Reverend Bennie Jerome Wilsey of Sullivan, MO, passed away on Friday, February 19, 2010, at the age of 74 years.
Bennie was born on June 28, 1935, in Rutledge, MO, to Henry P. and Nola Merle (nee Fry) Wilsey, one of three boys. He graduated from Memphis, Missouri High School, and went on to get a teaching degree from what was then Kirksville State Teachers College, now known as Truman State University. He married the love of his life, Ida Mae, June 3, 1956, in Cordon, Iowa, and together they had 4 children, 12 grandchildren, one of whom preceded Bennie in death, and five great-grandchildren.
He started preaching while he was still in college, and served the Green Castle/Novinger parish. He became a true circuit rider for most of his ministry, only twice receiving an appointment with only one church on a charge. His stories and his jokes from the enlivened pulpits of the Hematite/Victoria/Zion charge, the Leadwood Methodist Church, the Marble Hill/Lutsville Charge, St. Clair and Fairview, Lilburn and Parma, St. Stephen’s UMC in Troy, the Senath/Coldwater charge, the Doniphan/ Tucker/Grandin circuit, and the Benton/Oran charge, from which he retired in the year 2000, and moved to Sullivan. In addition to his stories and his jokes, Bennie’s ministry was characterized by his ability to preach without a manuscript in front of him. Ida Mae tells me that he had a basic outline, but on those Sundays when he preached three times, Ida Mae was likely to hear three very different sermons! He loved the music of Bill and Gloria Gaither, and he loved to sing.
In addition to his love for God and the church, Bennie was also at various points in his life a bowler, rode a motorcycle, and enjoyed playing pool. He was a gun enthusiast, and enjoyed shooting. He also enjoyed helping Ida Mae ride her horses, and he was always ready for a card game.
He is survived by his wife, Ida May (nee Jones) Wilsey of the family home; four children, Mark E. Wilsey and wife Chris of Oran, MO, Sharla Kinder and husband Joel, Jr. of Sullivan, Darla Yates and husband Robert “Frank” of Sullivan, and Kevin Wilsey and wife Nanette of Winfield, MO; a sister-in-law, Laura Wilsey of CA; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Adrian and Elmer Wilsey.
Services for Reverend Wilsey was conducted Tuesday, February 23, 2010, at Grace United Methodist Church in Sullivan with Pastor Steve Williams officiating. Burial followed in Fairview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials to Grace United Methodist Church in the name of Reverend Wilsey.
All arrangements were under the care of the Eaton Funeral Home.
Reverend Wilsey’s memorial website is at www.eatonfuneralhome.com where condolences may be sent to the family.