It was great sadness that I note the passing of Jim Wilde earlier this week on the day before Thanksgiving. Jim was my neighbor and a friend to all.
In his 84 years Jim accumulated many titles. At home he was a husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle and cousin.
He was president of Parkesburg High School Class of 1947 and a graduate of the first two year class of Eckles College of Mortuary Science in 1949.
In the Army Jim Wilde served with honor as both a corporal and instructor during the Korean War.
At the First United Presbyterian Church of Parkesburg on Main Street, Jim served as an elder, trustee, deacon, youth director and choir member.
In the community he was lifelong member of the Parkesburg Fire Company, an ambulance driver for 23 years, and a member of several VFW and American Legion posts.
The real story of who Jim Wilde was however can be found in the comments left on the Daily Local News’ Guestbook. To a person, the 50 or so people who left their condolences on the site remembered Jim as a kind man with a beautiful smile, a great sense of humor and a wonderful spirit.
One longtime neighbor noted Jim “was just as kind in person as he was at work.”
Others called him a Parkesburg “Icon” and another a “community pillar.”
However Jim is remembered we all share a collective memory of the unique gift he had, as one person on the guestbook noted, to make what was a difficult time “more bareable by his kindness and caring.”
His obituary properly sumes up the man we knew:
Parkesburg and western Chester County is a better place as a result of Jim Wilde’s smile, kindness and charity.
May Jim Wilde forever rest in peace and contentment of a life well lived.
May we, as we express our condolences and keep the entire Wilde family in our thoughts and prayers this weekend, take a few minutes in the quiet of our soul to consider how each of us individually and collectively can ensure Jim’s signature kindness and charity lives on in our words and actions.
May we consider the example Jim set and remember how our small acts of kindness, a warm handshake or a loving word can lighten another’s burden and make a difficult time more bearable.
May we always remember how an otherwise ordinary human being touched each of our lives in an extraordinary way.
Jim Wilde’s Daily Local Obituary can be found here.