Janesville25.7°

Fraternalist visible in community

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
January 20, 2008
— Terry Wilson’s list of accolades goes on and on.

They include years of involvement in his profession, community and church plus a longtime commitment to being a foster parent.


Earlier this year, the National Fraternal Congress of America named Wilson Fraternal Most Valuable Participant.


The honor is given to a “Fraternalist in Action” for volunteering time and energy to strengthen communities in which they live through participation in local lodge activities and other charitable endeavors.


Wilson, a Janesville native, certainly does that. He is a member of Equitable Reserve Association Assembly No. 171 in Janesville. The association is a general fraternal benefit society that secures the financial future for its more than 25,000 members through life insurance, annuities, educational planning, disability income protection and retirement planning. A disaster relief benefit, an orphan benefit and a college scholarship program are benefits offered by the association.


“As a Fraternal MVP, Terry Wilson embodies the heart of fraternalism through his hard work, dedication and generosity,” wrote Janice Whipple, NFCA board chairwoman.


Wilson has served at state, district and local levels of the association that he has been a member of for 56 years. His volunteerism through the association also has extended to the Clean Highway and the Join Hands Day volunteer programs.


“We’re a fraternal benefit society, but we sell life insurance,” said Jane Tennant, vice president and corporate secretary of the state association in Neenah. “And because we’re a tax-exempt organization, our main thrust is to benefit others. Our money goes back to members, and Terry is very instrumental in getting that message across to members and supporting our organization. We support and believe in volunteerism and giving back to the community, and that’s what he’s been doing for us. He gives back to the community he lives in and to our organization. He’s just a wonderful man.”


Wilson is a member of Forward Janesville, the Rock County Builders Association, the Wisconsin Glass Association, Association for Retarded Citizens, National Radiator Association and Foster Parent Association.


“Terry is a real nice guy,” said Mark Hoffman, immediate past president of the Wisconsin Glass Association in which Wilson once served as president, vice president and on the board. “He’s also a go-getter and not one to sit back and observe. He brings a lot to the table.”


Wilson also is very active at Faith Lutheran Church, where he is a charter member and has been head usher for the past 27 years. Those duties include supervising, training and scheduling a staff of 115 ushers each year. He’s also a member of the worship committee, is a greeter and communion server plus helped organize the church’s Faith Fest fund-raiser.


“His faith in his ministry extends beyond the walls of this congregation and out into the community,” said Pastor Jared Parmley. “We love him. He’s got a huge heart.”


Wilson summed up his volunteerism: “You’ve got to be visible when you’re in business so people know you. You just make the time.”


TERRY WILSON
Age: 73.
Community: Janesville.
Occupation: Self-employed. Owner and operator of Congress Glass, a glass and radiator shop, since 1967.
Family: Wife, Nancy; two sons, Mike, 44, and Daryl, 42; two foster children, Robyn Posorski, 43, and Kelly Brusoe, 39; one granddaughter, Nichole, 12.
Favorite hobby or pastime: Traveling.
Favorite music: Country.
Role model: Never had one.
Two words that best describe you: Hard working and family man.

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