March 19, 2020 — MORGANTON, NC — Janet Hostetter Wilson, of Davidson, North Carolina, formerly of Lenoir, died peacefully on March 14, 2020, at the age of 86, with family by her side. Janet was born in New York City on January 21, 1934. She grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey, and attended Kent Place School. In 1955, she earned her baccalaureate degree at Wellesley College, where she was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. She married Thomas Henry Wilson, Jr., in the fall of 1955, and was married for over 47 years until his death. She lived in Lenoir, North Carolina most of her adult life. After her three children were of school age, she obtained her master’s degree in psychology from Appalachian State University.
Passionate about education, she served on the Caldwell County Board of Education for 16 years, leading the board as its Chair. She served on the North Carolina School Boards Association for 12 years and held the statewide position of President. She served as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Public Education Policy Council, as Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, and as Chair of the North Carolina Alliance for Public Education.
Devoted to providing educational opportunity to children, in her later years she worked diligently with the Foundation for the Carolinas to establish a fund and strategy to help provide Pre-K education to elementary schools in Caldwell County.
With a special love for Davidson College and as one of its most loyal advocates and supporters, Janet was a member of the Davidson College Board of Visitors and the Davidson College Board of Trustees, serving on its Athletics Policy Committee and Admissions and Financial Aid Committee. She especially loved the Davidson baseball team and regularly attended games. As Davidson’s nominee, she was the recipient of the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award. She was also awarded the Satie Broyhill Lifetime Achievement Award, the North Carolina School Boards Association Award for Outstanding Boardmanship, and the L.A. Dysart Citizenship Award, presented by the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, for her commitment to education and to the community.
Janet served on the boards of the Patterson School Foundation, Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, the Caldwell Hospice Foundation, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, the Education Foundation of Caldwell County, and the Caldwell 20/20 Steering Committee. She was an elder of United Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, North Carolina, where she sang joyously in the church choir, and later was a member of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church.
As a lover of art, she worked on the art committees for both the Caldwell Hospice and the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Cancer Center to help ensure art was present in these facilities. She helped support the construction and opening of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum and advocated its value to the community.
She loved nature and believed a large part of every day should be spent outside. Janet had a passion for birds, gardening, and playing tennis. She loved her friends and her family and approached life with humility, graciousness, and concern for others.
Janet is survived by her three children and their spouses, Henry and Karin Wilson, Amy and John Scott, and David and Melody Wilson; her brother and his wife, Amos and Barbara Hostetter, and her six beloved grandchildren, Ellen, Robb, Tommy, Matt, Margaret, and Ben.
A private memorial was held for Janet by her family on March 16. Due to current health concerns, a public service will be postponed until a future time when we may gather in safety and love to remember and celebrate Janet’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, North Carolina 28645, or Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, P.O. Box 3023, Morganton, North Carolina 28680. Condolences can be directed to Amy Wilson Scott, P.O. Box 15150, Jackson, Wyoming 83002.
Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.