The Tri-City area lost one of its marine pioneers Monday, March 18, 2013, with the passing of Captain Dewey Wilson. Dewey was a lifelong resident of Patterson. He was born Oct. 8, 1927, to Dewey Wilson Sr. and Lissa Mae Daigle Wilson.
Upon graduation from Patterson High School in 1944, he entered the U.S. Merchant Marines and served aboard the C.W. Paisley in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he returned to Louisiana and joined his father and brothers in the family shrimping business. In the 1950’s, he was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army belonging to the 82nd Airborne.
In 1964, Dewey began working for Tidex where he was one of their first captains to deliver boats internationally. In a 22 year career at Tidewater and Seahorse, he delivered boats to 51 countries. Dewey ended his career at Seahorse as Manager of International Operations. During his career, he served as a contractor for the U.S. Navy and was an expert witness for the U.S. Maritime Law Department. Dewey was a 60+ year member of the U.S. Naval Institute and was a Master Mason in the Grand Lodge of Louisiana.
Dewey worked as an instructor at Young Memorial Technical College from 1960-65 and from 1999-2010. He was one of the original instructors in the marine department. Over the years, Captain Wilson taught literally hundreds of young men and women to earn captain, mate, radar, rules of the road and celestial navigation license/certifications and to help them pass required Coast Guard exams. Dewey often collaborated with the Coast Guard to write these exams and training curriculum. He was one of the few local captains to hold any ocean/unlimited tonnage license. Before his retirement from Young Memorial in 2010, Dewey was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana Technical College System.
Dewey is survived by his wife, Melba; his daughters, Lissa Wilson of Inez, Texas, and Lesli Fridge of Richmond, Texas; two granddaughters, Sonja and Jasmine Wilson DeLong; one sister, Genoria Staples of Patterson; and two brothers, Jimmy and Lyman Wilson, both of Patterson.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Dewey Wilson Sr. and Lissa Mae Daigle Wilson; one brother, Tommy Wilson; and two sisters, Betty Distefeno and Dorothy Knudson.
A viewing and visitation will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Ibert’s Funeral Home in Patterson from 6 to 9 p.m., and continues Thursday, March 21, 2013, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Patterson at 9 a.m. Funeral services will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Patterson Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m. with burial immediately following at the St. Joseph’s Cemetery. There will be a viewing prior to the funeral beginning at 9 a.m.
If desired, donations may be given in memory of Captain Dewey Wilson to the Young Memorial Marine Department or to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
Family and friends may view the obituary and express their condolences online by visiting www.iberts.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ibert’s Mortuary Inc., 1111 Lia St., Patterson, LA 70392, 985-395-7873.