Please join in a celebration of her long active life caring for others and her community (and her cat ‘Early’) at 3:30 PM on Saturday July 8, 2017, at the New Life Christian Fellowship Church (former Assembly of God Church) located at 218 8th Street, in Williams, CA 95987. The service will be led by her cherished Baptist Minister, Reverend Dennis Draves, followed by a reception at the same locale.
Condolences may be sent to: Family & Friends of Zenith Wilson, c/o D. Hatfield, 2750 West 86th Ave., Apt. 170, Westminster, CO 80031. In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to: the Williams Community Center, PO Box 831 Williams, CA 95987 or to any organization that supports U.S. Military Veterans and their families.
Zenith’s life began where kind, hardworking folks were displaced from Oklahoma & surrounding states by relentless, searing dust storms that parched the earth, compounding the paralyzed economy of The Great Depression. Her mother, Mrs. Myrtle Mattingly uprooted to greener Colorado. There she would raise her 12 year old daughter Zenith and two older sons solo where she had the support of extended relatives and hope for another beginning
Zenith’s mother worked as a laundress so Zenith could access a quality education at Bellevue Preparatory School in Westminster, CO, later became a preacher and remarried to Mr. Chris Nelson. While her mother was at work, Zenith babysat a neighbor’s child with whom she would remain in contact all her life.
Zenith later continued her education to train as a Licensed Practical Nurse and evolved her musical talents she so graciously would share with the rest of lucky us throughout her life. For a time Zenith worked for a jeweler in Glenwood Springs, CO, where she met her husband, Francis Wilson, an accomplished woodworker and carpenter, at a local dance. He served in the US Army from 1945 to 1964. His memorial brick recording his proud military service can be viewed in Colusa, CA in the Veterans Memorial Park on Market Street at 10th Street.
After his military service, they headed to Idaho for work opportunities and later came west to California to be near some of his relatives in San Francisco. The Wilsons lived in Napa near friends where Francis worked in construction.
In the 1980’s they moved to the Sacramento Valley’s Colusa County where Francis found a vintage era house in Williams he could fix up and feature his carpentry skills that remained their home their rest of their days together. Francis passed away in 2007 and Zenith now followed him a decade later.
Zenith was a faithful member & pianist for the Williams Baptist Church and more recently for the New Christian Fellowship congregation in Williams as well. She brought much joy sharing her wonderful piano virtuosity, not a stitch of musical notes in front of her, just playing from her heart and soul, especially traditional gospel hymns. Zenith performed for the residents at Valley West Care Center in Williams and also participated in the Talent Shows at the Williams Community Center.
In addition Zenith is fondly remembered as a dedicated volunteer caller to check in on isolated elders and others in need of some comfort on a daily basis for the wonderful Williams Telecare Program initiated by the late Claire Reynolds Swallow of Williams, CA.
Always positive, never spoke an unkind word about anybody or anything, yet did express her mind firmly, she was known by many in our extended local communities and will be very missed…. This humble but distinguished lady with a special name supported many a Williams and greater Colusa County non-profit organization.
To honor Zenith’s legacy that we may all recall that you may join a community at first as a stranger but can make many new friends & nurturing connections by contributing your time and talents to where you transplant. We all wish to belong to a greater whole. One belongs by contributing. Thank you Zenith for your contributions to us…
This is the grace of Colusa County, a welcoming place of Old Timers to Newcomers in this spirit to enrich all our lives collectively in fine friendships. May we all stop to visit the ill and infirm of any age, any background, of those we know, those we do not, to ease their day for a moment anytime we can, in any way we can; and also care for Mother Nature’s critters as well, feline, canine, any… treating others (human et. al) as we wish to be treated…
Rest reassured that Zenith’s fine furry friend she raised from a kitten has also gone to Paradise, the one on earth, up on The Ridge, east of Chico, CA, to a new loving home.