Cover photo for Sarah Jane Wilson's Obituary
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1933 Sarah 2021

Sarah Jane Wilson

August 2, 1933 — November 15, 2021

Sarah Jane Hoadley Wilson, 88, of Cornelius, passed away on November 15, 2021. She was
born in Endicott, New York on August 2, 1933, the daughter of the late Daniel Eugene Hoadley
and Edith Huffman Hoadley.
 
Upon graduation from high school in Vestal, NY, Sarah wanted to go to college; but her father
said “it’s a waste of money to educate a girl because she’ll just get married.” This was 1951
and the Korean War had started. Sarah married Jack Wilson two years after graduation and
right before he was drafted into the army. He was sent to Huntsville, Ala. for army missile
training. Sarah joined him and their first child, a daughter, was born there. After his army
service was up in 1955 they moved back to Vestal and two more children joined the family.
Sarah’s father owned two businesses and asked her to come to work for him. Shortly thereafter
he had a heart attack and she was asked to take over the two businesses. So much for not
educating a woman. She was very successful, posting a 19% CGR at Hoadley Trailer Sales and
became the largest RV dealer in the county.
 
After one very hard winter when water lines froze five feet under the street, they decided to
accept IBM’s offer to move to Charlotte, NC to help open the new facility. They bought a just-
completed home on Lake Norman. This was 1978 and there were not many people living on
Lake Norman. All their children followed them to the Charlotte area. It was then that her
daughters both said to her, “Mom, now is your chance to go to college.” When she read the
requirements to be admitted, she cried because she didn’t have a single one. UNCC was kind
enough to let her enroll for a trial basis and after two semesters of straight ‘A’s she was able to
matriculate. She graduated in 1992 Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Russian studies and
American Studies. Her graduation gift from Jack was an endowed scholarship for a non-
traditional female student. This was and is administered by the OASES office and because of
her involvement with them, she realized how great the need was for more scholarships for
needy women.
 
Sarah is a member of PEO, Philanthropic Educational Organization, an organization whose goal
is to help women complete their educations. The OASES office had many candidates who
needed help and the first year she was able to get grants for six needy women. Through the
years this grew to be approximately one hundred women when Sarah taught other PEO chapters
in the Charlotte area how to apply for these grants. PEO offered loans at a very low interest
rate as well and some of the recipients used these loans to pay for their Master’s degrees. Sarah
helped women from all walks of life, single mothers, women who needed to re-career because
of jobs going overseas, health problems causing them to change careers, many became teachers.
The main criterion was need and a curriculum that would help them get work. Each recipient
was given a PEO sponsor. The success stories from these women continues to be tremendous.
Although Sarah retired from sponsoring these recipients at the age of 75, she trained other PEO
members to take up the reins and the grants continue.
 
Jack retired from IBM the same year Sarah graduated from UNCC. They started a business,
Wilson Training Services, and worked together as a team. Their business was very successful
and this allowed them to travel to many parts of the world.
 
Current circumstances preclude a funeral and Sarah did not want one anyway. Services
will be held privately by the family. No flowers, please: donations to the The Sarah Hoadley Wilson
Scholarship, UNC Charlotte, 9201 University Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223 c/o Amy Shehee,
Foundation 218 - or - P.E.O. Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312, please make
checks payable to PEO Foundation and include the memo: Sarah Wilson Fund, Fund #8515 are welcomed.
 
Sarah is survived by: Husband John (Jack) Wilson; daughters Pamela Kay (PK) Donson,
husband Ron, of Davidson; Dawn Marie Wilson of Black Mountain NC; Son, Terry Wilson,
wife Deanna of Davidson. Grandchildren are Annelies Fryberger, husband Jens Beckert, their
children Jasper and Beatrice all of Cologne Germany; Carolyn Fryberger and partner T. Land
and their children Macy, Reagan and Jack and a baby boy on the way, of Durham, NC; and
Brian Archer, wife Dana, daughters Rory and Esme of California.
 
 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sarah Jane Wilson, please visit our flower store.

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