Eileen Wilson

 Eileen Marjory Wilson was born in Chicago, Ill., March 19, 1946, to Rev. John and Marge De Vries.
She lived her early years in Hitchcock, Geddes, Gregory, Sioux Falls  and Lead, S.D., where her father served Methodist and United Methodist Churches. Her early life was shared with sister, Jeanne, brother, Don, and sister, Bev.
After graduating from Washington High School in Sioux Falls, she was a student at Dakota Wesleyan University. While working part-time in the dining hall, she met Peary Wilson, also working there, with whom she kidded and grew to love.
They were engaged November, 1966 but missed each other so much that she moved to Illinois to live with her sister and family and be near Peary. They were married Aug. 27, 1967, in the Lead United Methodist Church and both then returned to Garrett Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
Eileen worked as secretary to a professor, Dr. Rocky Smith, who was working on a book and did not type. After their intern year in St. Cloud, Minn., they bought a very used tent trailer and could travel if they ate on $7 a week. They camped to California, to Alaska and to South Dakota. It was an adventure of a lifetime.
In 1970, they began ministry in Alexandria-Fulton. Then after a two-and-three-quarters year leave of absence in Watertown, S.D., they moved to serve an eight-and-a-quarter year ministry in Canistota. They moved on to serve in Brookings, Yankton, Bismarck, Rapid City Superintendency and Lead-Deadwood, S.D.
During her ministry In Alexandria-Fulton, Eileen created a study/support group for young mothers, for which many thanked her. She loved children and youth and often led or created choirs and bell choirs for them.
She loved camping with the youth and, with Peary, was co-director of a back packing camp in the Bighorn Mountains. She helped lead camps on canoe trips, retreats, UMC campsites and rallies. She became a highly sought substitute teacher. She was southwest district secretary and created a website for those years. She traveled with Peary during the superintendency and became a trusted friend and colleague for many. Eileen was a strong supporter and leader for the UMW and encouraged many to give their service there.   
Brian was born in 1972 and Darshan in 1975. Her family was her pride and joy, and she gave them her deepest love, continually thinking, planning and preparing how she might show that love. Friends treasured her very kind nature and her friend-making smile. However, if hers or others’ boundaries or respect were violated, she would rise up with unbelievable spunk and left no doubt regarding the offense.
She dearly loved family camping and could prepare gourmet dinners over a campfire as well as hike with the best of them.  She loved sewing and working in the garden or yard, always cultivating and giving hope for those around her.
Sadly, she was diagnosed with an adult-onset sensitive Type 1 diabetes in 2005. In recent years, she developed Alzheimer’s and/or Lewy Body Syndrome. Her smile and her kindness were evident all the way to the end. The nurses and staff nicknamed her “sweetheart.”
Eileen passed away April 4, 2024. She was 78.
Her surviving family is husband, Peary; son, Brian (Petra); daughter, Darshan (Junior) Soske; grandchildren, Zachary and Reina;  brother, Don (Sheila) De Vries; sister, Bev Hemple; and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at the Pringle (S.D.) United Methodist Church with a luncheon to follow in the Pringle Community Hall.
Her cremains will be kept and scattered with Peary’s at a later date.
Memorial gifts will be given to the Pringle UMC.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Hot Springs, S.D.

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