June 12, 1939 ~ June 25, 2019

Born in: Henderson County, NC
Resided in: Fletcher, NC

Mary Alice Wilson, 80, of Asheville, passed away on June 25, 2019 at Stone Creek Rehabilitation Center.

A Hendersonville native, Mrs. Wilson was the daughter of the late Clyde and Sarah Fetner. Following her passion for Jesus and children, she lived a life dedicated to missions and education. She earned her degree at Mars Hill College and taught elementary school for several years in Henderson County. After a big move to Texas with her husband, Mary Alice then focused her educational career on bilingual children while attending seminary, accomplishing a lifelong dream at a young age. Upon moving to Asheville, she helped create A Child’s Place for Mission and St. Joseph’s Hospital. She continued her career by becoming the Director of the First Baptist Church Child Development Center, where she worked until retirement.

Mary Alice gave her heart to the love of her life, the late Carter Eugene Wilson at age 24. They met by writing letters back and forth while he was stationed at Fort Wainwright Army Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. The pair tackled many journeys together such as seminary, ministering to many churches, and building a family. They eventually took on their biggest journey yet and became “house parents” to Craver Cottage at Mills Home in Thomasville, North Carolina. Together, they served the Baptist Children’s Homes for close to a decade, where many of the children came to consider them “mom and dad.”

Throughout Mary Alice’s life, she consistently went above and beyond for the Lord, her family, and her friends. Even as Mrs. Wilson’s health began to decline, she continued to volunteer, minister, and spread joy. She taught Early Childhood Development at Blue Ridge Community College and was the Activities Assistant at The Oaks Nursing Home. Closer to her passing, she enjoyed contributing to the development of a library at CarePartners PACE and lead church services at the Oaks when she could.

Mary Alice Wilson is survived by Jerri Wommack (Jeff), David Childers, Kimberly Jurney Childers; grandchildren, Mary Brantley Wilson Wommack, Wil Childers, and Madison Wommack. She is also survived by Doug Wilson and family, Dea Richter and her family, as well as her extended Wilson Family of Highlands, NC.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 28, 2019 in the Chapel of First Baptist Church of Asheville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Steadfast House of Asheville (www.abccm.org/steadfast-house), where Mary Alice volunteered while a member of the PACE program.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.


Memorial Service: July 28, 2019 2:00 pm

First Baptist Church of Asheville
5 Oak Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Room: Chapel

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  1. Mary,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your grandmothers passing.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you now and the coming days and may the peace of God wrap you and your family under His wings.
    I love you💕

  2. Mary,
    Bonnie and I are sending you love and hugs. Hold tight to the memories of your Gam. She certainly earned her angel wings. We are praying for you and your family.

    Love, Kim and Bonnie

  3. My sincere condolences to the family. Mary Alice was such a beautiful person inside and out. She was such a joy while here at PACE. Thank you for sharing her with us. Prayers for peace and comfort for your family.

  4. I have many fond memories of Mary Alice. My mom and dad, Wilma and Frank Fowler, were friends of the Fetners. I spent many hours at their home. Mary Alice started me on the road to music by starting my piano lessons when I was 8 years old. She taught school at my elementary school, Etowah. I wanted to be in her class so badly, but I wasn’t. Mary Alice was in charge of pulling together the first school library for Etowah School. I remember helping her build the card catalog. Mary Alice was a great lady. I have so many more memories of her. I was so lucky to have known her. My prayers for peace go put to all those who loved her.

  5. Our Family’s were together during the years when her Dad was the Pastor of our Church and over the years just became very dear to us. We were together thru some good times and some sad times and Mary Alice was in a lot of them. I loved them all and was so sadden to hear of her passing. My deepest condolences to everyone who loved her.

  6. Condolences to Aunt Mary Alice’s family. May the Lord be with you.
    (Daughter of Tom & Ruth Wilson)

  7. Jerri, I am so so sorry to hear about Gam. She was a remarkable lady. I just loved her! She had a smile for everyone and she could certainly make others smile as well. I am a better person for having known her and share time with her. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with you Maddie Mary Jeff and your entire family. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  8. Mary,I am so sorry to hear this. I really did enjoy knowing her and the family. She was one of my favorites and I loved her so much. May you have comfort in knowing she was an inspiration to others. My prayers are with you and the family.

  9. Jerri, so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. She, along with your dad, touched the lives of many boys and girls on the Mills Home campus. Also on the lives of those who worked with them. Our love and prayers are with you. Lloyd, Linda and Tim Fish

  10. Jerri, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. You could have nothing but wonderful memories of your Mom. She helped me through so many hurdles for which I will be eternally grateful….. Love you

  11. Jerri-
    My heart breaks for you! Your mom was such a special woman….always smiling! I’m praying for you and I love you! I’m always here if you need to talk! ❤️

  12. A true blessing and inspiration in the lives of many. She will truly be missed. She changed my life.

    Grace for the moment

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