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Former fire chief, mayor remembered as 'all-community guy'

Cary Ashby • Jan 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM

MONROEVILLE — “He was one of my best friends for over 50 years.”

That’s how Ronald “Shorty” Stang remembers his close friend, the late Clifford L. “Bud” Wilson, who died Tuesday at the Bellevue Care Center. He was 85.

Wilson and Stang worked together for many years at the Huron River Joint Fire District. For nine of his 27 years, Wilson was the chief. He started the Huron County Fireman’s Association.

“He was a no-nonsense guy,” Stang said.

Wilson, who was born Sept. 18, 1931 in the village, was instrumental in getting the current fire station built in Monroeville. 

“Bud pushed for the levy and we got the levy and that’s how we got the fire (station),” Stang said. “That was in 1993.” 

Wilson worked at Philco and Construction in Cleveland for many years. He was a street superintendent for Monroeville and served as the village mayor for four years starting in 2000.

“He was just an all-community guy,” said Stang, who spent time golfing, bowling, fishing and playing dart ball with his close friend.

“We golfed at Bellevue a lot,” Stang added. “We partied together. We drank together.”

Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson knew Wilson from his time as an umpire and through the brotherhood of being firefighters.  

“He was just a fun guy,” Soisson said.

Rick Perry, the assistant chief, also knew Wilson through the fire department and being “a mainstay” when he umpired softball throughout the area.

“He went everywhere,” Perry added.

“He was always a big supporter of Norwalk fire,” he said. “Every Christmas he brought over a ham for the guys.”

Wilson was an umpire for more than 25 years for softball, baseball and the Special Olympics. He coached Little League and the Monroeville girls’ junior-high basketball team. In 1985, Wilson was named citizen of the year for his contribution to boys’ baseball.

“Bud would always go out of his way to say hi to me,” Perry said.

Wilson helped start “mud volleyball,” according to his obituary, and built a diamond at Faulhaber’s Field.

“I umpired with Bud for years,” said Stang, who remembered his close friend was a great umpire for the same reason he was a good fire chief. 

“He was no-nonsense umpire. He didn’t take any bull,” he added.

Wilson holds the record for being the youngest judge in Kenton for ‘coon hunting, which he enjoyed for many years. He was a member of Ruby Lodge 534 for more than 50 years as a master mason and Accepted Ancient Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo. 

“Bud was friends with everybody,” Stang said. “He was good guy. He was actually a fantastic guy.”

Wilson is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marlene (Fox) Wilson, of Monroeville; their daughters — Cindy Wilson, of Monroeville, Sheryl Wilson, of Norwalk; and Darlene Wilson-Hall, of Olmstead Falls; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Evans Funeral Home, Norwalk. Masonic services will be at 4:30 p.m. and Eastern Star services to follow. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the funeral home. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Monroeville and a luncheon at the Norwalk American Legion.

The family asked that memorial contributions may be sent to Stein Hospice, Sandusky or Shriner’s Childrens Hospital, Cincinnati. Condolences may be shared at norwalkfuneral.com.

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