Philadelphia News & Search
Dr. Edward Vernon Wilson, 90, a longtime Philadelphia dentist, died Sunday, April 2, of congestive heart failure at his home in West Philadelphia.
The third of four children, he was born March 10, 1927 to the late John Henry Wilson Sr., a post office employee, and Gladys Long Wilson.
As a child, Dr. Wilson was greatly influenced by his parents’ work ethic and focus on education, his niece, Loyce Arthur, said.
Dr. Wilson graduated from Overbrook High School in 1945 and Lincoln University in 1949. Afterward, he served as a Med Tech in the U.S. Army at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville until 1952 and then as a U.S. Army Reservist from 1952 to 1956. While in the reserve, he studied dentistry at Howard University and received his dental license in 1957.
Arthur said her uncle had an opportunity to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point but decided to return to Philadelphia and start a dental practice. He opened an office at 1521 W. Erie Ave., in Tioga, and worked there for more than 35 years.
In addition to his practice, Dr. Wilson served as a consultant for Sun Oil Co. and to the government of Nigeria.
He and his brother, John H. Wilson Jr., travelled extensively and were involved in several businesses including, W.H. Ferance Company, a beauty products company, and Camp Mohawk, a summer camp for children in the Catskills, in New York, his niece said. Among the countries the brothers visited were Libya, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Turkey, Hong Kong and Thailand.
“We always joked that Uncle Edward was the more conservative uncle and Uncle John was much more flamboyant,” said Arthur.
“Uncle Edward had a dark blue Imperial car while Uncle John always favored red cars,” she added. “They kind of had a friendly rivalry,” she said, noting that Dr. Wilson had been in the Army and John Wilson was a Navy man.
She said Dr. Wilson, whom the family called “Uncle Bernie,” was serious but had a strong, deep laugh when he did laugh. And it was his brother John who often made him laugh the most.
Dr. Wilson was mentioned in a July 1968 Ebony Magazine advertisement, which noted that he was on the board of directors of the American Negro Commemorative Society, an organization that had been established that year to produce collectible sterling silver medals to recognize the contributions of African Americans. The first medal in the series was that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who had been assassinated that April.
Arthur said her uncle, who never married, loved listening to music, from the jazz of Duke Ellington to the operatic and classical music of soprano Jessye Norman and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also enjoyed dancing at the Roseland Ballroom in New York in his younger years.
In addition to his niece, Dr. Wilson is survived by one sister, and a nephew. His services were Friday, April 7. Donations may be made to the Lincoln University Fund, Lincoln Hall 400, at 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352.
Philadelphia News & Search