Wilson, Earl "Bubba", - 61, of Pleasantville, was called home to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at the Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, in Pomona, New Jersey. He was born on September 13, 1958, in Long Branch, New Jersey to Flossie Wilson DeBraux and the late Walter Kelly. He was affectionally known as "Bubba" or "Big Earl' to his family, teammates, and friends growing up, throughout his football career, and his life. Earl accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. He was a devoted member of the Greater Fellowship Church of Love and Deliverance and in 1992 became an ordained minister and preached some powerful sermons, like 'Shipwrecked', 'Timing' and 'Breakup that Foul Ground'. Earl was a 1977 graduate of Atlantic City High School where he was a football star and highly recruited by many schools throughout the United States. Earl chose to play for Coach Fran Curci at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky from 1977-1981 as a Wildcat Defensive Tackle wearing #78. After college, Earl went to play for the CFL, Canadian Football League the Toronto Argonauts, (#58) from 1981 1984 where he won the "Gray Cup" (the CFL Superbowl) of the Canadian Football League in 1983. From there he went on to play in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers (#93) from 1985-1988. After suffering an injury, Earl retired from the NFL and went to work for Fischer Plantscaping Service in sales and management. He later bought that company and built a successful landscaping small business of his own bearing the same name. He employed 30 or more workers over a 17-year span until his health started to fail him. Earl fought a long, hard battle with diabetes and had a leg amputation in 2019 during his long hospital stay until the Lord called him home. Earl leaves to cherish his memory, an estranged wife, Tracy Wilson; three children, Jessie Wilson (Toronto, Canada); Michael Austin (Atlantic City, NJ); and Jaylesha Hicks (Atlantic City, NJ). In addition, he is survived by three sisters, Carolyn Funches (Chester, Pennsylvania); Valerie 'Val' Kelly (Pleasantville, NJ), his caregiver; and Jennifer Wilson (Pleasantville, NJ); one brother, Bruce Wilson (Pleasantville, NJ) and his favorite uncle, Leo Billingsley (Camden, NJ); four grandchildren; 12 nieces and nephews; eight great-nieces and nephews; one God-son, one God-daughter, and one God-brother, Quaysaan Loveland (GA); and a host of cousins, friends, and church family, especially Elder Paul and Mildred Crespo. Earl had many special teammates and life-long friends, especially his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats' Coaches and 'Curci's Cats' teammates. He loved his Kentucky Wildcats! Some special friends include Robert Cobb (TX), Brenda Hayden, JoAnn Bright (KY), and Jennifer Parks (KY). Earl was preceded in death by one son, Justin Earl Wilson (KY), two sisters, Shirley Wilson and Marlene Kelly. Earl was a devoted, dedicated, and committed man of God. He always said, "if you want an answer from God, you have to be real with God." One of his favorite songs was "Be Blessed." He was a 'mama's boy who truly loved and respected his mama! Earl had an infectious smile, a funny, silly laugh, and was a friend to all who ever had the opportunity to meet him. He was loved and respected by all who knew him and will be forever remembered and truly missed. Fly high 'Big Earl', Rest In Heaven, 'Bubba', Rest In Peace. We are all blessed to have known you. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Services in Pleasantville, NJ. The funeral services will be held on December 10, 2019, at the Soldier Home 1510 Adriatic Ave Atlantic City, NJ. The viewing is from 10:00 am until 11:00 am. The services will be at 12 noon.
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