By Jena Johnson - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It was around 1964 when Charlie Wilson would meet his best buddies.
"It was a pretty exciting time because he was in the Legislature and I had never been around politics that much," longtime friend Buddy Temple said. "Charlie was just such an interesting individual."
Buddy Temple says Wilson was not your average politician. He never took himself too seriously.
"He was bigger than life," Buddy Zeagler said. "Just to be around him and talk about issues domestic or foreign or whatever the subject matter was a book or a good movie, you just kind of sat and soaked up everything he had to say."
Wilson was a stand-up kind of guy. His friends loved, admired and respected him for that.
"He always stood up for what he thought was right," Temple said. "He was a vigorous advocate for what he believed in."
One of his passions was supporting Afghanistan in their war against the mighty soviets.
"He was for the underdog and I think that came from growing up in Trinity," Temple said.
"He never forgot his roots," Zeagler said. "He never forgot where he came from."
Buddy Temple says when he thinks of Wilson, an avid reader, Mark Twain's word are naturally fitting.
"His faults were all the small ones and his virtues were all the great ones and that was Charlie," Temple said.
"A man can live his life in such a way that when he passes the news of his death causes our hearts to break with sorrow and we wonder how can we go on, how can we live without him?" Zeagler said. "That was Charlie. That was him."
And his legacy lives on.
A memorial service for Wilson is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. at Temple Theater at Angelina College.
Burial will take place Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Wilson died Wednesday at Lufkin Memorial Hospital. He was 76.