Joseph Henry Wilson Jr.

Joseph Henry Wilson, Jr., “Joe”, of Surprise, AZ, passed away on August 28, 2023, at Boone Hospital in Columbia, MO with his family by his side. He was 83.

Joe was born on March 9, 1940, in Hurdland, MO to Rev. Henry and Christina Wilson. He grew up a preacher’s kid moving to various towns across Missouri, having fun with his 4 sisters and many cousins. He graduated from Macon High School in 1958, where he met his first wife, Louise (Andews) Wilson. They married on June 25, 1961 after he joined the US Army Reserves. In 1966, he was honorably discharged from the reserve unit.

Joe went on to further his career goals by attending the Missouri State Highway Patrol Academy. He was in the 25th recruit class and graduated in 1962. His first assignment as a Highway Patrolman was in Canton, MO, where he served for eighteen years. From there, Joe went on to serve on the patrol in St. Louis, MO and Rolla, MO.

While working for the Highway Patrol, Joe furthered his education by attending Culver Stockton College where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Joe also attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 1980, and was a member of the State Pistol Team for many years winning numerous awards.

Joe retired from the MO State Highway Patrol in Rolla, MO on September 1, 1996 after marrying his second wife, Frances on July 6, 1996. They moved to Surprise, AZ and later spent summers in their RV in the cooler mountain weather of Pinetop, AZ.

Joe was a fun-loving, kind-hearted guy who never knew a stranger. Joe could be found on his days away from work hunting, fishing and golfing. He especially loved the many days of jug fishing with his buddies at the Lake of the Ozarks where he spent countless hours setting out lines and telling fish tales, many of which only HE knew if they were true. He was well known for his fish fries in both MIssouri and Arizona and many said “No one fries fish like Joe Wilson!” Joe was also the “fix-it” guy; many of his family and friends relied on him when he came to visit to complete their “projects”, which they had ready and waiting for him. He could pretty much fix anything from cars to lawn mowers to most anything around the house.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Wilson of Surprise, AZ; his children, Julie Wilson of Jefferson City, MO and Ken Wilson of Mexico, MO; grandchildren: Jakob, Brooklyn, and Dylan Wilson; Courtney, Ardnas (Will), Lyric, Alexis, and Aaron (AJ) Ballard; and great grandson, Ardnas Ballard, Jr.

He is also survived by four sisters and their spouses: Carolyn (Byron) Buker of Bedford, IN; Barbara Tayor of West Plains, MO; Margery (Richard) Waller of Macon, MO; and Linda (Vernon) Kincheloe of Columbia, MO.

He is also survived by stepchildren: Steven Groenier of Bellingham, WA; John Groenier of St. Charles, IL; and Lisa May of Oro Valley, AZ and step grandchildren Lindsey May, Skyler Niermeyer and Dylan Groenier, as well as many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life, which will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 11:30 A.M. at the First Church of the Nazarene in Macon, MO. Visitation is prior to the service from 10:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the church. Memorial donations can be made payable to The Masters (Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society) and mailed to 780 County Road 383, Whitewater, MO 63785 or given online at

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