Manley Leon Wilson

Manley Leon Wilson, age 76, of Nettleton, MO, passed away on March 25, 2020, at St. Luke's Hospital, on the Plaza in Kansas City.

Leon was born on June 29, 1943, in Kansas City, to Manley J. and Helen V. (Thompson) Wilson. The family moved to Nettleton when Leon was three years old. At a very young age, Leon began helping his father combine and haul grain for area farmers and later in Kansas for wheat harvest.

Leon's education began in a one-room schoolhouse in Nettleton, then he was transferred to the Hamilton school system due to a county consolidation order. He graduated from Penney High in 1961. Following high school, he first attended college at MU in Columbia, before transferring to Kirksville, where he met and later married Betty Louise Myers in 1964.

Leon and Betty had six children: J.R. (Manley Leon, Jr.), Jason (Mila), Michelle McQueen (Paul), Baby Susie, Theron, and Joshua (Amanda). He thoroughly enjoyed (sometimes just tolerated) his 18 grandkids: Courtney, Chelsey, Ceshia, Kimber, Kara, Brad, Brent, Alex, Parker, Dale, Jadra, Lyndsey, Brittani, Alayna, Jeffrey, McKenzie, Kayli and Mady. His great-grandkids number 19. Leon was most definitely a family man. He enjoyed staying involved in the daily life of every family member and made a point to be up-to-date on any happenings in the family, whether they wanted him to or not!

Leon was a long-haul trucker for 51 years, retiring in 2016. He worked for many companies: Belger, Mercer, American Freight Lines and Keystone before opening his own company, Wilson Freight Lines, then Packard. He spent the last few years of his career helping his friends and his sons haul short loads.  

Leon enjoyed talking to people. During his young adulthood, he spent many mornings at Colonial Café talking to anyone who walked in the door and sat at or near his table. He wasn't a coffee drinker (then) but enjoyed the company of others. A trip to Hamilton Supply could be a three-hour conversation. This was a handy trait in his profession. Traveling all 50 states and Canada, Leon made many friends. His hobby during the last several years was driving around Nettleton in the Ranger talking to family and neighbors while acting as the town watchman. He was the go-to man when you needed help with a project, to borrow a tool, advice or a little history lesson.

Leon stayed a resident of Nettleton all of his life other than college, a brief time in Hamilton and a year in Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Betty; and his daughter, Susie J'nnyae.

Cremation has been entrusted to Bram Funeral Home in Hamilton. Services/gathering of friends will be held at a later date.

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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