Friday, June 1, 1928, Matthew Cornelius Wilson Sr. and Bessie Elizabeth Cooper Wilson of Holt, Fl. announced the birth of their son Matthew Jr. For many years, his Birth Certificate stated his name as "Baby Boy Wilson". All of his siblings adored their baby brother, and this admiration continues to this day.
Matthew loved being with his dad. When his dad was working in the swamps cutting shingles and railroad ties, he was there to help his dad. He lost his best friend, his dad in 1942 to Cancer.
With very little entertainment in Holt, Matthew and his compadres had to create their own entertainment. Many years ago, a new tire was wrapped with brown paper; the boys would take the paper and wrap an old tire, then place it in the road and watch for the next car to slam on brakes. Naturally, the occupant thought they had found a new tire.
At the age of thirteen a military recruiter came to town. Shine decided that he would join. When the recruiter realized how young he was, he suggested that he return when he was seventeen. In 1947 he joined the Navy. Then in 1948 the Navy sent him to Fort Worth, TX for medical training as a Medical Corpsman. In Fort Worth he met the love of his life Miss Barbara Joyce Howerton. They were married on October 3, 1948.
One of his duty stations was the Navy Hospital in San Diego, California. He was assigned to a patient by the name of "Admiral Chester W. Nimitz". Matthew said he was really a nice guy, before leaving the hospital, Admiral Nimitz called him into his room where he had a number of photos of himself on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay signing the Japanese surrender in 1946. The Admiral told Matthew to pick one of the photos and he would sign it for him. That photo proudly hangs in their home today.
The Navy attached Matthew to the Marine Corp and he was sent to China in 1948. Shortly after returning from China he was on his way to Korea. He said that China and Korea were terrible places to be and that a lot of men around him lost their lives in battle. Fortunate for those of us, who love him, his life was spared. He returned from Korea in 1951 and separated from the service in 1952.
After his service separation he attended classes in Corpus Christi, TX to become a Med. Tech. They returned to Fort Worth in 1955. Matthew became a Lab Tech at John Petersmith Hospital. At the same time he became a Fireman for the Fort Worth Fire Department. In 1988 he retired from his Lab Tech position and continued as a Fireman. He worked two full time jobs for 33 years.
They have made a couple of trips to Europe. Both now retired, they continue to enjoy traveling across the country with their motorhome.