Juana Wilson Obituary
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In Memory of

Juana Mae (Arrington) Wilson

November 14, 1924 - July 1, 2014
Obituary

Juana's parents, John William Arrington and Anna Louise Wright, were married in 1918 in Lindsay, Oklahoma – a small town in the state's south central farming community. John was 28 years old and Anna was 31. John was a farm worker and Anna was a school teacher. Juana confided in us that Anna's family was not happy about her mother's choice of a spouse. Anna's family was more educated and prosperous – many of whom were lawyers and VIP's in Oklahoma City. Juana also told us that, in those days, school teachers had to remain single and so, when Anna married, she had to stop teaching. Juana was born on November 14th, 1924. She was...
Juana's parents, John William Arrington and Anna Louise Wright, were married in 1918 in Lindsay, Oklahoma – a small town in the state's south central farming community. John was 28 years old and Anna was 31. John was a farm worker and Anna was a school teacher. Juana confided in us that Anna's family was not happy about her mother's choice of a spouse. Anna's family was more educated and prosperous – many of whom were lawyers and VIP's in Oklahoma City. Juana also told us that, in those days, school teachers had to remain single and so, when Anna married, she had to stop teaching.

Juana was born on November 14th, 1924. She was the third and last child to John and Anna. Juana's brother and sister were named John and Dell. She remained close to both of them through each of their lives. We asked Juana why she was given the name "Juana" which is the Spanish version of "Jane". Juana told us that her mother just liked the name! As a small child, however, she was called Baby at home.

John and Anna had moved to Oklahoma City to start a small "mom & pop" grocery store and were scratching out a living, as the Great Depression descended on everyone. Juana told us that she remembers her mom as a whirlwind of activity and the driving force behind the store. Then came the tragic day when, at age 5 ½, she was taken out of her kindergarten class to be told that her mother, Anna, had died suddenly!

In an instant, Juana's whole world collapsed around her. She told us that the store had to be closed and there was talk of the children being separated and raised by relatives. Her father, John, insisted on keeping the children together but it was a great struggle for him – as he deeply grieved for his wife. With the loss of her mother, Juana began to see less and less of her mother's family – which made things even more difficult for Juana. It was a very difficult time for Juana, so difficult, in fact, that Juana has talked very little about her childhood to anyone.

Juana began to find solace in school and her studies. As a result, she graduated from high school magna cum laude in 1942. World War II had started and Juana wanted to do something for the war effort. Juana was an excellent typist and speller. These abilities allowed Juana to land a job working for Western Union as a teletype operator in a far off place called, Long Beach, California. Her future husband, Charles Wilson, was a teletype operator for the Army in San Francisco and they "met" over the teletype machine. Months later, they finally met in person, fell in love and, after an abbreviated war time courtship, were married on April 11, 1943. Charles was 20 and Juana was 18.

After the marriage, Charles, or Chuck, as he liked to be called, was immediately sent overseas to participate in the D Day invasion of France. Juana's husband returned home after the war. Chuck remained in the Army and Juana had two sons, Charlie and Asa. The Army had Juana and her husband traveling a lot in those days. Just to show how much they traveled, Charlie was born at March Airfield Hospital in Riverside, California and Asa was born at a military hospital in Washington DC just 2 ½ years later! Chuck's tour of duty ended and they settled in Oklahoma. Juana worked and scrimped while her husband got his college degree on the GI bill. Chuck taught high school for many years in Oklahoma. During those years, Juana cared for and nurtured her two young sons and gave them many wonderful memories. But teacher's salaries were meager at that time and Juana supported her husband's desire to go to California, where teachers were paid much better.

Juana and her family settled in the Southern California city of Manhattan Beach, where Juana was able to be a full time homemaker. Her sons, Charlie and Asa, received the incredible gift of a mother who was really there for them as they entered adolescence. Her sons would both tell you that her care and influence were a critical part of the success that they experienced later in life. As her son's entered college, Juana decided that she would like to go back to school and obtain her college degree. She attended El Camino Community College and then transferred to UCLA where she graduated Cum Laude with a major in German. She went on to be a Social Worker in L.A. County Child Services and helped many children. She then moved on to work for the Social Security Administration.

After her sons left home, Juana then gave her husband an incredible gift: flying lessons! She unselfishly supported him in pursuing his dream of flying. Then, by some kind of miracle that her sons still can't figure out, Juana and her husband were able to purchase a small plane that they named Dolcie! Juana astonished her sons even more and got her pilot's license!

Juana and her husband retired and moved to Sheridan, Wyoming and had several special years living near Asa and his family. Circumstances then resulted in Juana and Chuck moving back to Oklahoma. It was during this time that Juana enjoyed time with her beloved sister Dell. Juana and Dell had many happy years visiting nursing homes with Therapy Dogs to encourage and minister to the people there. Then health issues led to a move to Missouri near where Asa & his family now lived. Juana's life partner, Chuck died in 2005 and a couple of years later Juana's sister Dell passed away and the adjustment was a very difficult struggle for Juana. Juana came to live in California to be near Charlie. But Juana always felt that Oklahoma was home and she spent her last years here. To Juana's extended family: Jane and Sue, Barbara, Eileen, Clara and Butch, Kathryn, Harry and David and Kaye - we say thank you for being there for Juana at the end of her life.

Juana is survived by her two sons, 9 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Juana's faith in God was very strong but very personal. Her life began in tragedy but she persevered and thus triumphed over it. We, her two sons, are proud to honor our mother and the legacy that she leaves to us all.

"My Dad, Reford Arrington, was Juana's uncle. We were all brought up with the tradition that "Family" is the most important thing! As you can see from this..." Janie Arrington Williams (Laguna Hills,, CA)

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